A quick and elegant appetizer to make ahead, this Roasted Garlic Sun-Dried Tomato Goat Cheese Canapé is smooth, punchy and complex. Vegetarian | Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Garnacha Wines.
I’m so excited to share new discoveries in this post; a canapé appetizer and wine! Can it get any better?
Looking for an easy canapé, to make ahead recipe? This is one you’ll make over and over again for gatherings, parties, and special events. Roasted Garlic Sun-Dried Tomato Goat Cheese Canapé was developed by my sister, also a wine connoisseur, and we’ve been making this vegetarian canapé for years. It has bold flavors and varied textures, just what I like in an appetizer. The new-to-me part is the canapé appetizer.
What are Canapés?
Canapés are bite size appetizers usually served during cocktail hour. They’re often sweet or salty to encourage more drinking. I don’t generally need encouragement to drink more wine, but, hey! Okay.
Not all finger foods are canapés; think bruschetta, crostini, dips etc. Bite size, canapés are to be shared while mingling. The base of a canapé recipe is usually toasted bread, crackers, or pastry, for example, and cut into perfect little shapes such as discs, squares, or triangles. They’re topped with a spread that’s usually piped on, then layered with a main item, and garnished.
Now, I realize this can be fussy and time consuming. So if time is limited, simply place each component separately on a serving platter. This is how I’ve made this canapé appetizer many times before.
Otherwise, it’s an impressive pop in your mouth vegetarian canapé for sharing with a favorite wine and friends.
One of my favorite things to do on Friday afternoon is have an appetizer with wine. With easy canapés to make ahead, the afternoon can be enjoyed and savored rather than focusing on a more involved meal in the kitchen. Pairing this vegetarian canapé with wine is pure perfection. I love wine, but it hasn’t always been this way. It took a while for me to warm up to it. But over time, I’ve come to appreciate its nuances and luscious flavors.
I recently discovered Garnacha Wine and am intrigued with how the grapes are grown and the history of the grapes. Most notably, Garnacha grapes are one of the most widely grown grapes in the world.
If you haven’t heard of them, yet are fan of blended wines, then you’ve probably enjoyed Garnacha before. But just in the past few decades, winemakers are embracing modern techniques with old traditions to produce a Garnacha stand alone varietal with delicious character.
About Garnacha Wine
What I found most interesting about Garnacha is the vines, often centuries old, benefit from poor, rock soils such as limestone and granite. It thrives in hot climates with evidence suggesting that water stress benefits the vines. The grapes are grown in Spain, France, Italy, and Greece, among others, in dry arid climates.
I was happy to learn Garnacha is also grown in California, where I can source it a little closer to home.
Garnacha produces red, white, and rose’. What’s your favorite? I like chilled white or rose’ form time-to-time during Summer, but I enjoy red the most. Garnacha red has a bold nose with notes of plum, blackberry, cherry and a hint of spice. It’s versatile and pairs beautifully with a wide array of food. Best of all, it’s affordable and pairs perfectly with this canapé recipe.
A Few Recipe Tips
- For make ahead ease, this canapé recipe can be whipped up days before you’re ready to share it. Make the goat cheese mixture and store it for up to two days in advance. The pita can be toasted just prior to assembly and service.
- No time for a fussy canapé recipe? Share the components separately on a platter with the goat cheese whip as the center piece.
- Sharing this vegetarian canapé with a few other simple offerings such as olives and nuts, makes for an elegant appetizer or snack dinner.
Roasted Garlic Sun-Dried Tomato Goat Cheese Canapé Recipe
- 2 Large Heads of Garlic* see note
- 4 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil divided
- 2 Pieces of Whole Wheat Pita Bread
- 5 oz Goat Cheese 142g
- 1/4 C Marinated Sun-dried Tomatoes Julianne, 40g
- 2 Tbs Fresh Basil rough chopped + extra leaves for garnish
- 1/4 C Kalamata Olives pitted and sliced quarters, 32g
- 8 Cherry Tomatoes halved **(see note), 94g
- A few of Pinches of Sea Salt for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425F (218C). Cut end off each head of garlic, the pointy side, not the root side. This will expose the garlic cloves. Set each head of garlic in a square of foil (enough to fully wrap each head in). Spoon 1 tsp of olive oil over each head of garlic. Wrap each head loosely making sure the foil is closed. Roast for 35 minutes.
- While the garlic is roasting, using a large knife, cut the pita bread into 32 little wedges. Brush each wedge with olive oil. Bake during the last 8 minutes of roast time with the garlic. The pitas will crisp up after being removed from the oven. Allow them to cool.
- Peel the garlic cloves out of their skins, gently. This is often messy as the garlic is very soft. Just do your best to remove all the skins.
- At this point, the appetizer can be assembled with each component placed separately on a serving platter. Spoon room temperature goat cheese into a small serving dish and place the pitas, sun dried tomatoes, garlic cloves, thinly sliced basil, kalamata and tomatoes separately on to a serving dish. Severing this way allows for the pitas to be served warm and individual canapés assembled by guests. I find this arrangement agreeable if sharing with a few others. If sharing with a larger group, press on!
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the roasted garlic, goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and basil. Process until smooth. There will still be chunks in the cheese, and this is okay, but they need to be small enough as to not overwhelm a bite.
- Spoon the goat cheese mixture into a plastic sandwich bag, forcing the cheese to one corner of the bag. Cut a small hole in the end of the bag and pipe on to the pita wedges. Top with cherry tomato, kalamata olive and basil leaf or tiny basil ribbon. *Cut basil turns black/brown, so try to find tiny leaves. A fresh thyme leaf is an option as well, which tastes delicious!
- Sprinkle a tiny bit of sea salt over each canapé before serving. Serve immediately.