Especially in the spring, food is often best left un-cooked. If you have ever eaten a pea right out of a pod that you picked yourself, you know what I am talking about.
The basis of all of my cooking comes from my time spent in Florence, Italy. As opposed the crazy chicken Florentine or Tuscan bruschetta that you find in certain chain restaurants, food in Florence in simple. The flavors of the ingredients speak for themselves. I never knew that you can eat tomato and mozzarella with nothing but olive oil, salt, and pepper so many times in a week. But when the tomatoes are fully ripe, red, and bursting with flavor and the cheese is like a lightly flavored cloud, you don’t need to add anything else.
I’m not sure how I first discovered this combination of flavors, but it has been a favorite every since. Honey is key to the richness of the final taste. Make sure not to use clover honey, which is usually the most inexpensive, widely-found type. It tastes as much like honey as a strawberry that is shipped 3000 miles and ripened in a truck with gas and chemicals tastes like a strawberry. Buckwheat honey by Bee Raw has an incredibly complex taste – like an aged wine.
Serves: 8-10 (as appetizer)
Prep time: 10 mins (5 mins active)
- fresh baguette (sweet not sour)
- soft chevre goat cheese* (Chavrie works best)
- fresh rosemary stalks
- honey (raw buckwheat is the best for this dish)
- Heat the oven to 250 degrees.
- Slice the baguette into 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick slices.
- Layout the baguette slices on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for three to five minutes, until golden but not burnt.
- Using a butter knife, slice off quarter-sized pieces of goat cheese and spread cheese on each toast.
- Drizzle a bit of honey on each toast (about a half teaspoon).
- Run your fingers along the rosemary stems from top to bottom to remove all the leaves.
- Scatter 5-6 rosemary leaves on each toast.
- Set out before your guests arrive and enjoy!
Note*: Make sure to use a fresh package. If it has already been opened, the cheese will be hard and crumble instead of spreading.