Leftover cranberry sauce and goat cheese crostini

Cranberry relish and goat cheese crostini

Thanksgiving without a refrigerator full of leftovers is like watching a movie only to miss the ending. It is not right, invalidating, and misses the entire point. Preparing for the Thanksgiving meal is an epic event, either destroying families and their kitchens or bringing them closer together. Mountains of thought and execution are poured into an array of dishes, which are exciting for eager individuals who enjoy slicing vegetables or wielding a pan over an open flame. Yet, that’s not where the real challenge lays. What the heck do we do with all these already cooked, stuffed into containers leftovers residing in the refrigerator? Now, that’s where the creativity is meant to shine. Let it flow, let it flow. There are countless recipes that bridge this creativity into plausible and tasty dishes that salvages and transforms the left-overs into something new and remarkable.

This one recipe is one such endeavor, and ideally, a simple one at that. Everyone loves a crostini, unless gluten is one of your mortal enemies. Toasted bread, preferably Italian or French but can be of any variety and style, topped with morsels of whatever you can muster. This rendition looks to take advantage of leftover cranberry sauce. Not that I have anything against the cranberry block of gel from a can, because I love the sound it makes when it bloops out, so unnatural, but homemade cranberry sauce is the way to go. Bitter, sweet, tart, and snappy with the flavors of cinnamon, orange, and liquor, the cranberries are transferred into a delicious compote. The sweet grassy tang from goat cheese is a friendly pairing to the homemade cranberry sauce. And when combined onto a toast, it is an easy snack or appetizer for parties and guests that is spectacularly loaded in flavor. And there’s one less container of left-overs occupying free refrigerator space.


For the cranberry sauce

  • 1 pound fresh cranberries
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons Grand Mariner
  • 2-3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
  • Drizzles of honey
  • Salt and pepper

For the crostini

  • Loaf of bread, preferably Italian or French style but any will do, including those with nuts, etc
  • 8-12 ounces of goat cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Honey

In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, combine all the cranberry sauce ingredients. Give it a couple good stirs as it comes up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan with its lid. Allow for the mixture to simmer for another 10 minutes until the cranberries are soft, but not all mush. Season with salt, pepper and/or more sugar, if needed.

Preheat the broiler. Slice the loaf of bread to 1/2 inch thick slices. Drizzle olive oil on both sides of the bread slices and season with salt and pepper. Pop them into the oven for a couple of minutes, until toasty but not burnt. Immediately spread the goat cheese onto the freshly toasted bread slices. Mound a spoon of cranberry sauce on the crostini. Finish it off with a drizzle a bit more honey.

cranberry sauce


cranberry sauce

Bread with olive oil

Toasted bread slices

Goat cheese spread

Cranberry relish and goat cheese crostini

Cranberry relish and goat cheese crostini



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