Caramelized Fennel Crostini and Mandarin Mocktail's

Movie lovers, the Academy Awards are here. Whether you're having an Oscars bash or watching the telecast from your couch, this fun light pairing will please all. Caramelized Fennel Crostini with Goat Cheese and Mandarine Mocktails. 

Crostini's are one of my favorite appetizers. This pairing was inspired from my organic produce home delivery service, Farm Fresh to YouThe only fruit and veggie left from my latest delivery, was the Murcott Mandarins and one Bulb Fennel. 

These crostini are simple. Creamy goat cheese topped with sweet and savory caramelized fennel. The mocktail is made with mandarin, strawberry and pineapple juices. This sweet drink works well with the flavors of the crostini. 

Caramelized Fennel Crostini with Goat Cheese

Recipe inspired from Putney Farm
Serves: 4

1 bulb fennel
1/8 cup white onion
1/8 cup olive oil
1/2 lemon
Pinch organic sugar
Sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
Goat Cheese
French baguette
Olive oil for brushing

Slice the baguette into 1/4" slices. Lightly brush one side with olive oil. I use my convection oven and toast lightly until golden, about 4 minutes. Set aside.

Cut the tops and bottoms off the fennel bulb. Slice the bulb in half and remove the core. Cut fennel into thin slices and then chop into smaller pieces. Chop the onion. Add oil to skillet and saute fennel and onion, with a pinch of sugar, until they are caramelized and golden brown. About 10 minutes. 

Remove fennel and onion mixture from pan (drain off excess oil) and put into small bowl to cool. Season with sea salt, cracked pepper and add the juice from 1/2 a lemon. 

Spread goat cheese on crostini and top with caramelized fennel. Add another twists of cracked pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Bon Appetit.

Murcott Mandarin Mocktail

Serves 2

12 Murcott mandarins
8 strawberries
1/2 cup pineapple juice - chilled 
1 teaspoon organic sugar

Slice the mandarins in half and juice using a citrus press over a bowl. Strain juice and chill for 30 minutes or until ready to assemble.

Slice strawberries and place in bowl. Sprinkle sugar on top and stir. Chill strawberries for 30 minutes. 

In a blender puree the chilled strawberries with the chilled pineapple juice.

Pour strawberry puree into champagne flute and top with chilled mandarin juice. 


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