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Appetizers, Sides, Vegetarian

Warm Goat Cheese Bread With Tomatoes and Basil

Warm Goat Cheese Bread With Tomatoes and Basil
Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times

Late summer is the peak season for tomatoes. When shopping, choose tomatoes that are firm, well shaped, fragrant and deeply colored for their variety. They should be free of blemishes, feel full and heavy for their size and give only ... Read more

Total time: 20 minutes plus 30 minutes standing | Serves 2 to 4

Tomato topping

  • 1 large tomato, seeded, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil leaves

Step 1Mix tomato, vinegar and oil in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Let rest 30 minutes at room temperature. Stir in basil; taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Bread

  • 1 (7-inch) baguette, split lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon pressed garlic
  • 1/4 cup soft goat cheese

Step 1Put bread on baking sheet. Mix oil and garlic in small dish; heat in microwave oven 1 minute. Strain through fine sieve, pressing oil from garlic. Discard garlic. Combine garlic oil and goat cheese. Spread mixture over cut side of bread, dividing evenly. (Can be done several hours ahead and kept at room temperature.)

Step 2Bake bread at 375 degrees, uncovered, until very warm, about 5 minutes.

Step 3To serve, use slotted spoon to separate topping from juices and transfer to bread halves, dividing evenly and spreading to edge. Cut each piece crosswise in half or in smaller portions, depending on how you plan to serve it. Serve immediately while still warm.

Note: This recipe makes a great lunch for two. The bread, cut in smaller portions, can be served with drinks, as an accompaniment to soup, on a buffet platter or with green salad.

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