At this time of year, the holidays are the perfect time to host a little get together with friends. Whether you are serving beer by the bottle, mulled wine or champagne, it’s nice to serve up a few snacks for guests. Yes, of course you could open a bag of chips or pretzels (honestly, what could be easier?), but how about showing off a little? Sophisticated has never been easier. This recipe for pear and Roquefort crostini makes for a delicious appetizer that is put together in minutes – really it can hardly be called a recipe. It’s that easy.
Sweet pear, blue cheese and honey are always a winning match. I use Roquefort, but Gorgonzola would also be a super choice. If you aren’t a die-hard blue cheese lover like me, than use goat cheese (a.k.a. “chèvre”) for a milder variation. The main thing is…this recipe is totally flexible, so venture out to find some interesting varieties of your own. You can use Granny Smith apples instead of pears. Pecans instead of walnuts. Saute the pears in butter in honey and simply serve on a warm crostini with lightly melted cheese. The variations are endless. And they are all simple, palette pleasing combinations that beat a bag of chips! ;-)
The inspiration for this recipe came from my last Christmas vacation in Canada with family. As I may have mentioned a few times now, my aunt and uncle are master chefs in the kitchen, and they are fantastic at throwing dinner parties. Even if that means a dinner party of three. And dinner parties always include some type of tasty hord’ouerve to kick off a fantastic culinary evening.
I loved my Aunt’s recipe so much that I wrote down the ingredients in the Notes app on my mobile phone that very night. I changed it up a little by skipping the balsamic vinegar and prosciutto, instead added a drizzle of honey. If you have some on hand, add a little peppery arugula to the mix. Yum!
For more ideas on festive canapés, check out my post on canapés al a James Bond.
Pear, Roquefort & Honey Crostini
1 French baguette (or crusty bread)
1 firm but ripe pear, cored and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
120 g (or more) Roquefort
1/2 cup walnuts, broken into pieces and lightly toasted (50 g)
honey, for drizzling
baby arugula, as garnish (optional)
1. Set the oven grill on high heat.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, pear, onion, and thyme.
3. Slice the baguette very thinly on an angle. Brush each side with olive oil, place on a baking sheet, then grill in the oven until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Remove from oven, turn bread slices over and top evenly with Roquefort.
4. Return the bread to oven and broil for 30 seconds or longer, until the cheese is lightly melted.
5. Remove from the oven and arrange the pear mixture over the tops of the toasts. Drizzle with honey. Garnish with walnuts and a couple arugula leaves. Enjoy!