Basil Leaves Topped with Goat Cheese and Toasted Pine Nuts

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January 29, 2020

Since this time of year seems to involve eating events of various kinds, I thought I’d offer up two new appetizers that I tried tonight.

This one is particularly perfect for those who say, “I don’t cook.” You need only toast the pine nuts. A platter of these leaves makes for a beautiful presentation and is easily eaten as finger food.


1/2 cup pine nuts
4 oz soft goat cheese at room temperature
1 Tbsp heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
20 medium/large basil leaves
1 medium or 5 Campari tomatoes, finely chopped – use only the outer layer to avoid the seeds


  1. On a dry toaster oven tray, toast the nuts at 350 degrees, shaking the pain and removing as soon as they start to get slightly darker, about 3 minutes. A little toasting brings out the flavor; a lot of toasting makes them bitter.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the goat cheese with the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Put about a teaspoon of the cheese on each basil leaf, and spread with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with the pine nuts, pressing them into the cheese. Scatter the chopped tomato on top.

That’s it!