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Herbed Cheese Crostini and Kale Salad

These herbed cheese crostini are the perfect appetizer.  Serve with this kale salad for a light lunch or dinner.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 4
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For the herbed cheese crostini

  • 1 thin baguette (or ficelle), cut into ½ inch thick slices (I recommend using a baguette or ficelle that's 1 ½ inch - 2 inches thick)
  • 4 oz plain goat cheese, room temperature (or substitute with vegan cream cheese)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • ½ tsp fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch pepper

For the creamy balsamic dressing:

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 3 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ½ Tbsp Vegenaise, (or mayonnaise)

Everything else:

  • 10 oz kale, chopped or shredded
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained
  • cup pine nuts, (preferably toasted)
  • cup Parmesan slivers, freshly slivered (optional, but highly recommended)


Make the crostini

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Thinly slice the baguette to about ½ inch thick slices. Lay the slices out on a baking sheet, and bake the bread slices for 5 minutes, until slightly crisp.
  • I like to stop here. If you prefer really crispy crostini, flip the bread slices over, and bake for another 3-5 minutes. Remember, the bread slices will get harder and crisper as they cool, so don't over-bake.
  • Set the crostini aside.

Make the herbed cheese

  • While the crostini bake, make the herbed cheese.
  • To a small mixing bowl, add the room temperature goat cheese, salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. With a fork, mix it all together until the herbs and seasonings incorporate into the cheese, and the cheese is smooth and creamy in texture.

Make the Dressing

  • While the crostini cool, make the dressing.
  • Simply whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until the dressing emulsifies. It will be thick and smooth. Dressing is done, set aside.

Compile the crostini

  • The amount of herbed cheese crostini you get will vary depending on the size of baguette you used to make the crostini, and the amount of herbed cheese you spread onto each crostino.
  • If you used the recommended 1 ½ inch - 2 inch thick baguette for the crostini, you will get about 15-18 herbed cheese crostini by spreading 1 tsp herbed cheese onto each crostino.

Compile the kale salad

  • Add the kale to a large mixing bowl. Start with ⅓ of the dressing, and massage the dressing into the kale with your (clean) hands. A little bit of dressing goes a long way, so make sure it's completely massaged into the kale before adding more dressing.
  • After the dressing is massaged into the kale, taste a piece of kale, and add more dressing, if desired. Start with a small amount of additional dressing, massage it in, and add more if desired.
  • Now toss the beans, pine nuts (toast them for 5-7 minutes in a skillet over medium heat for even more flavor), and Parmesan slivers into the kale salad.

Serve and enjoy

  • Serve these herbed cheese crostini and this kale salad as an appetizer or light meal.


This meal is vegetarian.
Make this meal vegan by subbing vegan cream cheese for the goat cheese, and omitting the Parmesan slivers.