Goats cheese, like olives, is something that I have grown to love as I have gotten older. I remember spitting it out in disgust not that many years ago but now I would smear it on everything given half the chance.
This recipe is adapted (more like guessed) from the eatery that inspired our Venetian tapas in Shared Plates. It consists of a simple whip of goats feta atop a toasted slice of ciabatta and finished off with a slice or two of oven roasted aubergine. Simple yet very delicious.
The following is a general guideline of what goes in, we are terrible when it comes to measuring exact quantities when we cook together. If you like more of one ingredient then feel free to add more of it. Cooking is an art and rules in some cases are for chumps.
Aubergine and Goats Cheese Crositini
Makes 8 slices
1 large aubergine (eggplant)
1 ciabatta loaf
200g goats feta
A few tablespoons of cream
Zest and juice of a lemon
Leaves from a few sprigs of lemon thyme
Salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius on bake and line a baking tray with baking paper. Slice your aubergine down the middle lengthways. Slice each half into eight pieces so that you are left with 16 or so cresents. Place as many as you can on the baking tray, drizzle with olive oil (don't be stingy) and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper. Bake for say 15 minutes each side until it is golden but also that wonderful gooey texture you get with aubergine.
Whilst that is going on, break up your feta and place it in a small mixing bowl. Add in the lemon zest, lemon thyme, a small slosh of cream and a squeeze of lemon (you can add more later once you get an idea of the texture). Mix it all together with an electric beater until it becomes smooth and spreadable. Keep whipping in the lemon juice until it reaches the consistency you desire - we wanted ours to be quite light. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add more lemon thyme or lemon juice if it tickles your fancy.
Create eight 2cm thick slices from the ciabatta loaf and brush on a light coating of olive oil onto each one. Turn the grill on up to high and place the slices on the same baking tray the aubergine was on (waste not want not). Grill on high for a few minutes each side until golden and toasted.
To assemble, smear a good dollop of the goats cheese whip onto each slice of toast followed by two cresents of aubergine. We were too stingy with our smearing which was an oversight, please do not make the same mistake as us! Garnish with a few leaves of lemon thyme, a good salt and peppering, a drizzle of olive oil and another squeeze of lemon for luck.