I’m pretty proud of myself for making the most of this cherry season. Sure, I’ve eaten more than my share (and yours) of plain ol’ cherries as nature made them, but I’ve also done lots of cooking, baking, and cocktailing with them. Last year I received a free issue of Fine Cooking magazine. It just so happened to be their summer issue with a whole spread devoted to cherries. Needless to say, it was love at first sight. Unfortunately I didn’t see that spread until cherry season was over so I’ve been impatiently waiting for the calendar pages to flip over again and finally, the time is here.
I dug out the issue and have made several of the cherry recipes. I never tire of trying new ways to top baguette slices, and the fruit + goat cheese combo is a new favorite of mine so this was sure to be a hit. This recipe also exposed me to a new ingredient I was previously unfamiliar with, jicama. It is a root vegetable apparently related to a turnip that also reminded me of a potato. The components of the cherry relish are really nicely balanced with the sweetness of the fruit, the crunch from the jicama, the bite from the scallions and the creamy tang of the goat cheese. All in all this is a really nice appetizer, and a slightly out of the ordinary way to enjoy cherries. Stay tuned tomorrow for another cherry recipe of the sweet variety!
Fresh Cherry and Goat Cheese Crostini
1 cup fresh sweet cherries, pitted and finely chopped
½ cup finely chopped jicama
1 medium scallion, finely chopped (white and green parts)
½ tsp. red wine vinegar
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 oz. soft goat cheese
18 ½-inch thick baguette slices, lightly toasted
In a medium bowl, combine the cherries, jicama, scallion, vinegar, and cayenne. Toss well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread a thin layer of goat cheese over each baguette slice and spoon some of the cherry mixture over the top. Serve.
Source: adapted from Fine Cooking, May 2010