Store-bought naan is the shortcut for perfect flatbread and easy dipping in this savory, creamy goat cheese appetizer with roasted vegetables.
Sure, I like to cook. What would a food blogger be who didn’t?
But, like any good cook I also like to eat out, and besides my tried and true family favorites, that’s where I find a lot of my recipe-creating inspiration. It’s where pro chefs test out their culinary chops and people like us get to reap the benefits. And steal a few ideas too.
This flatbread recipe is a riff on a menu item at one of Salt Lake City’s most popular, tried and true restaurants, Café Trio. It’s a popular spot for ladies who lunch (and drink wine), bridal parties and baby showers, just like the virtual bridal shower we’re having today to celebrate the soon to be first baby toes arrival for the lovely Joanne of the food blog Fifteen Spatulas.
Café Trio is what you’d find listed in restaurant directories as “casual fine dining.” Pastas, salads, thin crust pizzas and sandwiches all with an upscale twist.
The restaurant has been around for over 20 years and this flatbread appetizer has never left the menu. After eating it over and over lo’ these many years, it’s obvious why.
About the Recipe
This appetizer looks more complicated than it is, and there-in lies its delicious beauty. Roasted vegetables give this dip a more substantial bite than just the goat cheese on its own and add a sweet caramelized flavor you’ll be craving for days.
Tomatoes this time of year are usually less flavorful than summer’s bounty but a quick roasting brings out their inherent sweetness. It’s a trick I use all the time in recipes like my Kale Caesar Pasta Salad or my Roasted Tomato Sauce that’s so tasty on any pasta or in lasagna. I roast them with the same method as described here and wha-la! Delicious sweet tomatoes any time of year.
Caramelized onions also up the sweetened veggie ante. I took the super simple route and cooked the onion low and slow in just a bit of olive oil seasoned with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Again, they key to these slivers of sweetness is to cook them low and slow.
You can easily make these days before and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use. They’re terrific on grilled sandwiches or on chicken or steak, too.
At Café Trio, they create their flatbread dippers with pizza dough flavored with rosemary and garlic oil that’s then baked in their pizza oven. I’ve made this with pizza dough before too (this one is my favorite), and it’s delicious.
But this time around I took the short cut route and instead of pizza dough I used store-bought naan from Stonefire Flatbread. I laced a bit of the onions on top of the flatbread and drizzled with oil and rosemary then toasted my rounds in the toaster oven. A drizzle of balsamic glaze (this one is so good) was the last detail to add and then we were ready for dipping.
I used a log of softened goat cheese for this recipe and added a few herbs mixed in. Fresh chives, flat leaf parsley and a dash or three of onion salt gives the goat cheese an added oomph. I sprinkled the whole thing with more chopped rosemary before serving for an extra aromatic glow.
If you’d like, you could certainly roast a fresh red bell pepper to go along with the roasted tomatoes and caramelized onion, but I always keep a stash of my favorite jarred roasted red bell peppers on hand. Time savers can often be key.
Be sure to use a bake-safe crock to warm the goat cheese and roasted veggies in. This one would be the perfect vehicle.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 5-6 campari tomatoes (cocktail tomatoes), whole or halved
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 5 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced and divided
- 1 teaspoon chives, minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian flat leaf parsley, minced
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic salt
- 6 ounces jarred roasted red bell pepper, about ½ cup
- Balsamic glaze
- Preheat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and then the onions. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring once or twice, season with kosher salt and then lower the heat to medium low or low, stirring just when the onions begin to brown, then letting them cook undisturbed for another few minutes then stir again. Repeat for 30-40 minutes or until the onions are soft and caramelized. Add a little more oil if they begin to dry out.
- Preheat an oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place the tomatoes in an oven-safe crock and then drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add salt and pepper and toss to coat. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes are softened and bubbling.
- Meanwhile mix the softened goat cheese with the chives, parsley and garlic salt and mix well with a fork, then set aside.
- Prepare the flatbread by brushing it with the remaining olive oil. Add some of the caramelized onions to each flatbread and then sprinkle with the remaining rosemary. Place on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and set aside.
- Remove the crock with the tomatoes from the oven and add the goat cheese mixture, caramelized onion and sliced roasted red bell pepper to the crock with the tomatoes. Return to the oven with the flatbread and bake until the cheese begins to brown and melt, and the flatbread begins to toast, about 5 minutes.
- Drizzle the flat bread with balsamic glaze and cut into pieces. Serve warm with the baked goat cheese mixture.
Spring Showers and Baby Toes
Today we’re celebrating the first baby for Joanne, the creator of the food blog Fifteen Spatulas, and her husband Pete in welcoming their new baby boy James to this big, bold world. This appetizer is just one in a long list of food bloggers recipes created for the online festivity.
Hop over and visit the other food bloggers sites for more recipe ideas to make for your own celebrations, and please stop by and visit Fifteen Spatulas to give her any baby advice you’re willing to share. Like any new mom, you can never have too much advice.
Italian Sub Sandwich Roll-ups from Michael of Inspired by Charm
Smoky Roasted Red Pepper Sun Dried Tomato Hummus from Jeanette of Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Creamy Sweet Potato Soup from Sadie of Dairy Good Life
Whipped Goat Cheese & Blueberry Balsamic Crostini from Meseidy of The Noshery
Spring Herb Cream Cheese Appetizer Cups from Rachel of Rachel Cooks
Crostini with Almond Ricotta and Spicy Olive Tapenade from Heather of HeatherChristo
Chocolate-Covered Rice Krispies Treats from Julie of The Little Kitchen
Orange Fluff from Jamie of My Baking Addiction
Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies from Susannah of Feast + West
Mini Ombre Heart Cookies from Bridget of Bake at 350
Mini Coconut Pound Cakes from Mary of Barefeet In The Kitchen
Yellow Sheet Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting from Jennifer of Savory Simple
Unicorn Shaped Cookies from Jessie of CakeSpy
Oreo Cheesecake Bites from Brenda of a farmgirl’s dabbles
Lemon Blueberry Bread from Glory of Glorious Treats
Blintz with Blackberry Sauce from Sommer of A Spicy Perspective
Pastel Rainbow Cake from Bree of Baked Bree
Individual Chocolate Souffles from Andie of Andie Mitchell
Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you have a TERRIFIC day and find yourself inspired to get into the kitchen to make something good.
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