We seem to be hosting a lot of quick and easy cocktail parties lately, and though I have my standards (like bacon candy and truffle deviled eggs), I love to take something I know is always a hit and add a twist. This version of my simple goat cheese, avocado toasts adds the sweetness of spring peas and a hit of wasabi, ginger and lots of fresh basil. Plus, when your guests are walking in through the front door you can quickly whip this up and have it on crisp crostini in minutes. Pair with a light, crisp and very refreshing bubbly or white wine. This time last year I was in the stunningly beautiful region of Alto Adige, Italy, so we toasted with one of my favorite whites, a Pinot Grigio from the spectacular Elena Walch Winery.
Goat Cheese, Avocado and Pea Toasts
1 baguette, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
4 ounces goat cheese (we used one with herbs, but whatever you like; you could also use ricotta)
1 cup spring peas (frozen peas work great)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/3 white onion, chopped
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste (+/- to your taste)
1/3-1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh herbs, we used cilantro, mint and basil + more for garnish
salt and pepper
1 ripe avocado
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush your baguette with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. When the oven reaches temperature place the bread inside and toast for 5 minutes until just browned. Remove from the oven and set aside. Add the onion, garlic and ginger to a small sauce pan with 1 tablespoon oil and cook on low until just softened. Add the peas and wasabi and cook until warmed through. Add the pea mixture to your food processor with 1/3 cup yogurt and pulse until combined. Add the avocado, cut into chunks and lemon juice with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pulse. Add the herbs and blend until very smooth. Taste and adjust any seasoning. Pulse again. Spoon out into a small bowl. If you have time to chill the pea puree, do so for about 1/2-1 hour, covered to keep it beautifully green. To make the toasts spread a layer of softened goat cheese on the bottom of each baguette round and top with a layer of the avocado. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper and an bit of chopped basil. Enjoy.
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