Holiday treats from the farmers market

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Not only does this recipe use Ventura County produce available at farmers markets, but it also has holiday colors.

 

Strawberry/cheese/arugula crostini

1 baguette cut on the diagonal into ¾-inch slices

Good olive oil

1-2 whole cloves smashed flat with the side of a knife

sprinkle of Himalayan salt

1 pint fresh strawberries

3 tablespoons water

3 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)

splash of vanilla extract

pinch of salt

Jalapeno cheese from Brothers Products, fresh feta crumbles, goat cheese, or whatever cheese you like

small bunch of fresh baby arugula

good balsamic vinegar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the bread slices on both sides with olive oil. Rub with smashed garlic cloves. Sprinkle very lightly with salt. Spread on cookie sheet and cook in oven for 6 minutes on one side and 2 minutes on the other.

Rinse, hull and cut strawberries in half. I just lop the heads off, which is easiest. In saucepan, mix berries with water, sugar, vanilla and pinch of salt. Heat on medium on stovetop and mash with potato masher as berries cook. Cook until syrupy–about 4-5 minutes. Take off heat and cool.

Rinse and dry arugula.

Take toasted crostini and top with cheese of choice—the jalapeno cheese was a favorite. Then spoon on strawberries. Top with arugula leaves. Drizzle everything with a good balsamic vinegar. Taste and add salt if needed.

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