Ap­ple, Brie and Blue Cheese Pesto Cros­tini

The Phoenix - - OUR TOWNS - — SONYA KEIS­TER, “THE SAVORY GOURMET COOK­BOOK”

Serves 8 to 10 Note: For a pic­nic, pre­pare the blue cheese pesto and baguette slices ahead of time. Have your guests as­sem­ble their own cros­tini on the spot.

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

Blue cheese pesto: 2 cups fresh basil leaves 1 large clove gar­lic ¼ cup pine nuts 1 ta­ble­spoon fresh lemon juice ¼ tea­spoon crushed red pep- per flakes

1/3 cup Parme­san cheese, grated ¼ cup good qual­ity blue cheese ¾ tea­spoon sea salt ¼ tea­spoon black pep­per 2/3 cup ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil Cros­tini: 1 small baguette Olive oil ½ pound triple-cream Brie, sliced into ¼-inch pieces

½ green ap­ple, un­peeled, thinly sliced

4 ta­ble­spoons fig pre­serves

IN­STRUC­TIONS

For the pesto, place all the in­gre­di­ents ex­cept the olive oil into the bowl of a large food pro­ces­sor. Pulse 10-12 times to blend. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse a few more times. With the mo­tor run­ning, add the olive oil in a thin stream and process for about 20 sec­onds. Stream in olive oil with the mo­tor run­ning for about 20 sec­onds. Scrape the sides again and pulse un­til blended. Can be made a day in ad­vance and re­frig­er­ated.

Heat oven to 325 de­grees. Line a bak­ing sheet with parch­ment pa­per. Slice the baguette into ¼-inch slices at an an­gle and ar­range in a sin­gle layer on the pre­pared pan. Brush bread with olive oil, add a sprin­kle of salt and bake for 10-12 min­utes, or un­til golden brown around the edges but not too firmin the cen­ter. Re­move from pan and let the cros­tini cool on a rack. Spread each cros­tini with a thin layer of fig pre­serves, then top with 2 thin slices of green ap­ple and a thick slice of Brie. Top with a driz­zle of pesto and serve. (If you’re mak­ing these at home, the cros­tini are es­pe­cially de­li­cious if you broil them for 30 sec­onds, be­fore top­ping them with pesto).

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