Do you ever forget about making an appetizer?.......
Sometimes when I am preparing a nice dinner for family and/or friends, I totally forget about this introductory course. I get so wrapped up in all the other details and usually at the last minute get in a bit of a panic when I remember my ommission. This is where this delicious Bleu Cheese and Honey appetizer comes to the rescue! I usually have a little wedge of good blue cheese in my refridge as I love to use it in salads, dressings, sauces, etc. I always have honey in the pantry and I can usually dig through my freezer and find a few pecans just waiting to be rescued and given a meaningful purpose.
I saw this recipe about a year ago on The Meaning of Pie, one of the blogs I love to check out. Kelly has a lovely blog and is always an inspiration to me. I especially appreciate this delicious recipe of hers; so simple and yet it has gotten me out of a pickle more than once!! I like to serve it with these yummy rosemary crostini. The rosemary is a perfect flavor combination with the flavorful blue cheese and sweet honey. I also like to add some tiny diced seasonal fruit. This time I used strawberries, but it's also fantastic with mango, apple, pear, figs... really just about any delicious fresh fruit. Give this a try it, even if you're not in a pickle, I think you'll be amazed at how wonderful this simple combination is!
Oh, and for a great tip on a fabulous, inexpensive Bleu Cheese, check out this post!
Bleu Cheese and Honey and Toasted Pecans
1. Place a wedge of Bleu Cheese* on a serving tray, drizzle some honey over it (about a tablespoon), sprinkle it with chopped toasted pecans** (about 2 tablespoons) and some tiny-diced fresh fruit. I like to serve this with diced fresh figs, if in season, or diced Asian pears or other firm pears. It's also good with a crispy apple or other seasonal fruit. I usually serve it with Rosemary Crostini (see recipe below) but it's also very good with crackers or pita chips.
* One of my favorite Bleu Cheeses is Point Reye. I find it at The Fresh Market, kind of pricey, but well worth it. Recently I found another wonderful Bleu Cheese, much less expensive and every bit as good! - check it out here
** Toast pecans (about a cup) with a generous pinch of sea salt and 2 teaspoons of olive oil until deep golden (stir occasionally while roasting).
Fresh Rosemary Crostini
1 long, thin good quality baguette, I like LaBrea
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
few dashes paprika
1. Preheat oven to 400˚. Cover large sheet pan with foil. Slice bread into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange on foil covered baking sheet in a single layer.
2. Mix together oil, butter and rosemary and place in microwave for 30 seconds or until butter is melted. Brush tops of each slice with olive oil mixture. Sprinkle lightly with paprika, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Cool completely and store in a airtight container.