This is an adaptation of an Italian Appetizer from Venchi that calls for Gorgonzola Cheese and Dark Chocolate. In this recipe I used a milder blue cheese from the coast of California called Point Reyes Blue Cheese and white chocolate instead of dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is being used in a couple of the other courses in this 4 course dinner that we are posting this week. Each of the 4 courses in the Valentine’s Day Dinner has some style of chocolate in the course!
I chose the white chocolate’s sweetness to help off-set the pungent aspects of the blue cheese. The crostini was made from a seeded bread I purchased at Whole Foods called “Seeded Seduction” but any good quality artisan bread will work.
Crostini with Point Reyes Blue Cheese, Roasted Bosc Pears, Hazelnuts & White Chocolate
To make the Crostini:
1 loaf of your favorite artisan whole grain bread, crust removed and sliced 1/4inch thick
1/4 c grass-fed butter, softened
Butter the slices of crostini. I used one slice per person to make this appetizer. Toast the crostini in a skillet or put on a cookie sheet and bake in a 325 degree F oven until crisp, or grill. If baking it will take about 3-5 minutes or so on each side. Check frequently to make sure the crostini are not getting too brown. They should not be “rock-hard”. The should be firm and a little crispy .
To make the topping:
1/4 c Point Reyes Blue Cheese or other mild blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 c whipped cream cheese
1 – 2 Bosc Pears, or other firm fleshed pear
3 Tbsp ground hazelnuts (reserve 1 tablespoon for the garnish)
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp grass-fed butter
2 oz white chocolate, rough chop
1 tsp organic honey
Gently fold the blue cheese crumbles into the whipped cream cheese. Don’t mix the two together so much that the mixture turns “blue” from the blue cheese. Just fold gently to incorporate the two together. Add the 2 tbsp of ground hazelnuts to the mixture.
Spread the cheese mixture on the crostini.
Wash, de-stem and slice the pears lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. With a small round cookie cutter cut the seeds out of each of the pear slices and discard. Sprinkle the pear slices with sugar and place in a hot skillet with the melted butter.
Cook until the pear’s caramelize and have a nice golden color. Transfer to a plate to cool then place on top of the crostini with the blue cheese mixture.
Melt the white chocolate and honey in a small bowl in the microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring after each interval. The chocolate should be melted with no lumps.
Drizzle the crostini with the white chocolate and honey mixture and sprinkle the remaining 1 tbsp hazelnuts over the top.
I added one very small dollop of blue cheese on the top of each crostini before serving.
Wine Pairing Suggestion
Domaine Zind Humbrecht, Alsace Grand Cru “Goldert”, Muscat, 2012