Must. have. figs. And mushrooms! Pears! Bleu cheese!
Obviously you don't want everything sitting on top of a piece of bread (or maybe you DO ) but here are a few T&T favorites that include those ingredients.
Camembert with Blue Cheese, Figs and Port Sauce
1 8-oz (4.5 inch diameter) firm Camembert cheese with rind
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread
1 cup ruby Port
1 cup dried black Mission figs, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
chopped fresh chives
1 baguette, sliced into rounds and lightly toasted
Brush Camembert on all sides with egg, then coat with breadcrumbs. Place on foil-lined plate and cover.
Bring Port to simmer in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Add figs; simmer until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer figs to a small bowl. Add sugar to Port in pan; boil until reduced to a thick syrup, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Pour syrup over figs. (Cheese and figs can be prepared 3 hours ahead: Refrigerate cheese, let figs stand at room temp.)
Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add Camembert and cook until breadcrumb coating is brown and cheese is warm, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and top with the blue cheese, figs and syrup. Sprinkle with chives and surround with toasts.
Wild Mushroom and Blue Cheese Crostini
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound wild mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon parsley, minced
1 teaspoon thyme, minced
1 teaspoon mint, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup coarsely grated Fontina cheese
1⁄2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (we used stilton)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 baguette, sliced thinly at an angle into about 24 slices
Whole parsley leaves for garnish
Preheat oven to 450F.
Place the baguette slices on a sheet pan and toast until just beginning to brown. Leave oven on. Brush each side of the toast lightly with the garlic.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Ad the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and the liquid has evaporated, 7-10 minutes. Add the parsley, thyme, and mint. Season well with salt and pepper, and lemon if needed. Remove from the heat and add the cheese. Toss together.
Distribute the mushrooms and cheese on top of the toast. Place the toasts on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake until the cheese melts , about 1 minute.
Serve immediately, garnished with parsley leaves.
Adapted from “Weir Cooking: Recipes from the Wine Country" by Joanne Weir
Crostini of Figs, Ricotta, and Prosciutto
[Would also be good made with camboloza cheese]
4 ripe figs, cut in half
4 slices country bread
1/4 pound soft, mild ricotta or crescenza
4 slices prosciutto
a handful of arugula leaves
Heat a grill pan. Place the figs cut side down on the grill pan (I sprinkle a tiny bit of sugar on them to encourage caramelizing) and grill a for a few minutes, or until the cut side caramelizes.
Meanwhile grill or toast the bread in the oven. Then spread each slice with cheese, place two fig halves on top, lay a slice of prosciutto over the figs, scatter a few arugula leaves on top, and serve.
Recipe by Reed Hearon
Pear and Gorgonzola Crostini with Balsamic Port Glaze
1 loaf walnut bread, sliced into ¼” thick slices and then cut into bite-size squares
2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for brushing the bread
1 pear, peeled, cored, cut into quarters and then sliced into ½-inch slices
Coarse salt and pepper
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ cup port wine
4 thin slices prociutto
2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
Preheat oven to 400F
Place the bread on a cookie sheet, brush with olive oil and bake until lightly golden brown.
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pears and sauté for 1 minute, until they just begin to soften. Season the pears with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a small saucepan or skillet on medium-high heat, reduce the vinegar and port to ¼ of its original volume. Pour into a small bowl and let cool. It will thicken as it cools.
Breaking up the prosciutto, place a piece on each of the walnut toasts. Top with a small piece of cheese, some pear and a drizzle of the vinegar-port reduction over the top.
Adapted from Joey Altman’s “Tasting Napa”
Crescenza with Sautéed Mushrooms and Hazelnuts
½ pound crescenza cheese, cut into small squares or wedges
1 baguette, sliced and toasted until golden and crisp
2 Tbsp butter
8 ounces wild mushrooms, cleaned and sliced or broken into medium pieces
¼ cup dry white wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. toasted hazelnuts
1 Tbsp. snipped chives
Place a wedge of cheese on each of the bread slices and set on a platter.
Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat until brown. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring often, until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and boil up until the wine is reduced to a glaze over the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and spoon over each slice of bread with cheese. Scatter some of the hazelnuts and chives over the mushrooms and serve immediately.
Adapted from “The New Cooks’ Tour of Sonoma” by Michele Anna Jordan
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