Goat Cheese Pomegranate Crostini with Pancetta and Balsamic Glaze
These Goat Cheese Pomegranate Crostini balance creamy whipped goat cheese with bursts of pomegranate seeds and savory pancetta, all topped with a balsamic glaze.
Winter is the best time to treat yourself with pomegranates as they are in season starting in late October and stick around through late December this year. I picked up three last week at New Seasons and had to go back again today for more! They’re seriously that addicting.
Plus, the juicy seeds from this fruit are as healthy as they are popular. And with the majority of people having no idea how to open one, sharing this skill is basically the coolest party trick.
I like to toss pomegranate seeds in salads and desserts, eat them as is, or sprinkle them over savory dishes like this one for a sweet contrast.
If you are vegetarian you can still enjoy these goat cheese pomegranate crostini, just omit the pancetta for an equally flavorful appetizer.
How To Open A Pomegranate
What’s the easiest way to open a pomegranate?
At first, the process can seem intimidating as cutting through the center like you would with most fruit just won’t work. But don’t worry, once you get the right technique down, it’s a breeze and totally worth the effort for these crostini.
I’ve tried many methods including whacking the fruit with a wooden spoon, rolling it on the counter, and peeling it first. That said, the way my dad and grandma in Morocco taught me has always been the easiest method for me:
- Start by slicing off the bottom and the top of the pomegranate first.
- Then, using your knife, cut the pomegranate in fourths, only cutting into the skin and not through the entire fruit. These cuts will allow you to pull the fruit apart into four pieces.
- Finally, gently peel the seeds from the quarters. Don’t forget to wear something that is ok to get a little dirty because pomegranate seeds do stain.
Gluten Free Crostini
Now that we’ve tackled the art of opening a pomegranate, let’s take a moment to appreciate the gluten free bread I’m using today.
These Hoagie Rolls from local Portland gluten free bakery, New Cascadia, makes the perfect crostini. They are soft and fluffy on the inside with a firm crust on the exterior just the way a traditional baguette should be.
My local New Seasons Market has New Cascadia’s bread delivered weekly, which makes throwing this appetizer together a breeze. With all the delicious ingredients in this recipe, the bread still shines through as the star.
Cut thinly into slices and toasted to perfection.
Spread with whipped goat cheese.
Sprinkled with crispy pancetta and bursting pomegranate seeds.
The quality of your bread is important in making these goat cheese pomegranate crostini stand out.
Stop by your local New Seasons and check out their baked goods section or use your favorite kind of gluten free baguette.
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar or 1/4 cup balsamic glaze (see note for recipe)
- 1 baguette (I use a gluten free baguette from New Cascadia Bakery)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 lb pancetta, cooked and drained on a paper towel
- 1 cup goat cheese
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (1 pomegranate is more than enough)
- Cook pancetta until golden brown and drain on a paper towel. Whip your goat cheese (stir vigorously for 2-3 minutes).
- Slice baguette into small crostini slices, brush with olive oil and toast in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Spread generously with goat cheese.
- Place few pinches of pancetta on each piece of crostini. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over crostini and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Enjoy!
To Make the Balsamic Glaze: Heat one cup of balsamic vinegar in a saucepan until it thickens and reduces in half. Keep in your refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Keywords: Goat Cheese Pomegranate Crostini