Cooking From Memory ~ A Recipe Journal


Roasted Pear Crostini with Gorgonzola

These are extra-delicious topped with chopped toasted nuts, such as hazelnuts or walnuts. Balsamic glaze can be purchased at gourmet and well-stocked grocery stores.

Makes 24

Ingredients ~

  • 2 firm red Bartlett or other red-skinned pears
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 24 pieces Herbed Crostini
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled gorgonzola cheese or thinly sliced Cambozola
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic glaze

For garnishing: Tiny sprigs of fresh thyme

 

Method ~

Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F.

To roast the pears: Quarter the pears lengthwise, then core. Cut each quarter lengthwise into 6 slices (you should have 24 slices, total). In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, and thyme. Add the pears and toss to coat.

Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Lay out the pears, not touching, on the baking sheet. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden and starting to caramelize on the edges. Pears can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 3 days before serving.

When ready to serve, lay out the crostini on a baking sheet and top each piece with about 1 heaping teaspoon of gorgonzola or a slice of Cambozola, then a slice of pear. Bake until just warmed, about 4 minutes.

Drizzle each piece with about ¼ teaspoon balsamic glaze, then garnish with thyme.

 

Herbed Crostini

Crostini are the must-have party basic. Use as a base for assorted toppers, such as creamy cheeses, tapenade, or spreads.

Makes 32 to 40 pieces

Ingredients ~

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 long, skinny French baguette, cut into 1/4-inch diagonal slices
  • Kosher salt for sprinkling

Method ~

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix the oil, dried herbs, cayenne, and garlic. Lightly brush the baguette slices with the herb oil or, in a large bowl, drizzle the bread with the oil and toss well. Lay out the bread in a single layer on baking sheets, sprinkle with salt, and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, until just crispy.

Crostini can be made in advance, cooled thoroughly, and stored in airtight containers for up to 3 days. If necessary, recrisp them in a hot oven for a couple of minutes.

 

From Kathy Casey’s “Sips and Apps”


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