Over the holidays I was searching for some Christmassy recipes for a dinner party we were hosting. I love trying new recipes and am really into cranberries right now. Cranberries are a super food that often gets overlooked because of the tart flavour. Obviously, as a stand alone snack, they aren’t great, but I often add frozen cranberries to my morning smoothies and love them. WebMD suggests that cranberries are second only to blueberries in their total antioxidant capacity.
Cranberries have vitamin C and fiber, and are only 45 calories per cup. In disease-fightingantioxidants, cranberries outrank nearly every fruit and vegetable–including strawberries, spinach, broccoli, red grapes, apples, raspberries, and cherries.
One cup of whole cranberries has 8,983 total antioxidant capacity. Only blueberries can top that: Wild varieties have 13,427; cultivated blueberries have 9,019.
Dr. Nalini Chilkov also outlines seven reasons why we should include cranberries in our diet on Cancer Schmancer. Check it out to see how cranberries can benefit your over all health and wellness.
I came across this recipe for Roasted Balsamic Cranberry and Brie Crostini on NeighborFood and it sounded delicious. Sometimes when you read a recipe you just know that it is going to be fabulous. Such was the case with this one. I knew it would be a winner and it certainly did not disappoint ~ thanks Courtney! You really must visit her blog and check-out the fabulous pictures. When I made these I was in the midst of preparing for company and in all honesty pictures were a mere after thought (and as you can see my daughter had changed my camera settings and I didn’t even get one good picture).
Roasted Balsamic Cranberry and Brie Crostini
- 2 T. butter, melted
- 2 T. olive oil
- ½ a french baguette, sliced thin
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 2 T. balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 T. rosemary
- 4 ounces triple cream brie, thinly sliced
- fresh thyme sprigs to garnish (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Combine the butter and olive oil in a small bowl and whisk. Brush both sides of the baguette slices with the oil mixture and place on a baking sheet. Set aside.
3. In a second small bowl, add the cranberries, balsamic vinegar, sugar, and rosemary. Mix. Spread the mixture out on a rimmed baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper.
4. Place the cranberries in the oven and roast for five minutes. Add the tray of baguette slices to the oven. Roast for an additional 6 minutes. Remove the baguette slices to flip them over and return to the oven for another 4-6 minutes, or until crispy and golden. At this point, the cranberries should be popped open with juices running out. Remove both the cranberries and baguette slices from the oven.
5. Top each baguette with a slice of brie and a spoonful of cranberries. Garnish with thyme, if desired. These can be served while the cranberries are still warm, or you can make the components ahead of time. The cranberries can be chilled overnight and the crostini will keep in a zip lock bag. Simply assemble and serve at room temperature when you’re ready!
When I made this appetizer for our dinner party, I ended up with a small amount of the cranberry mixture left over. I simply refrigerated it in a covered container and served the cold mixture over a bed of greens with purple onion and feta. No dressing necessary. This made a salad that was both beautiful and delicious! In fact, it was so good that I’ve since made another batch just for salad topping. Mmmm….so good!
The combination of flavours in this recipe is so great, that I really hate to mess with it. However, I do try to reduce the sugar in recipes when possible. Next time I make it I will try to reduce the sugar amount slightly – I might try 1/3 of a cup and see how that works. Enjoy!