5-step Oven-Baked Goat Cheese
Chewy, creamy, crunchy … these toasts are a texture party! They also hit all of the right flavor notes — the dates are richly sweet, the bacon brings a touch of smoke, the goat cheese is beautifully tangy, and the fresh rosemary and thyme give each bite earthy depth. The finishing touch: A drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of flake salt. They pull everything together into an elegant-yet-rustic appetizer (that’s also quick and easy!).
1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Medium dice 6 slices of thick-cut bacon and 9 pitted Medjool dates. Mince 1 tsp each of fresh rosemary and thyme leaves.
2. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, toss together the bacon, dates, 1 tsp honey, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a pinch each of the minced herbs. Set aside.
3. In a food processor, combine 10 oz chèvre, 4 oz cream cheese, ¼ cup shredded Parmesan, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 grated garlic cloves, and a pinch each of the minced herbs. Process until smooth. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread the cheese in a small, ovenproof skillet.
4. Transfer the cheese dip and bacon and dates to the oven. Bake until the cheese is bubbly and golden, and the bacon is crispy, 15 to 20 minutes.
5. To serve, scatter the bacon and dates on top of the goat cheese. Garnish with extra virgin olive oil, honey, flake salt, and the remaining minced herbs. Serve hot with crostini.