Call me old-fashioned, but I love hors d’oeuvres at parties. Not complicated or fancy or difficult-to-eat ones, just little nibbles of things like a beautiful cheese plate, some fresh fruit, or warm bread with aromatic herbs. And when I am hosting, this is my favorite one to serve (and eat!) — it’s a decidedly unfussy but delicious combination of cheese, fruit, warm bread and herbs all in one. I’ve actually tried a few different variations of this — using apples instead of pears, or goat cheese instead of gorgonzola, or a mix of different herbs — but I think the pear-gorgonzola-thyme combination is the ideal trifecta. If you make these for a crowd or your family, don’t be afraid to pile on the softened pears and onions and drizzle all those maple syrup and vinegar juices over the crostini to maximize the crunchy-gooey, sweet-sour, fruity-cheesy goodness. Yum!
Pear, Gorgonzola & Thyme Crostini
(Adapted from Giada de Laurentis’ recipe for Apple & Onion Confit Crostini)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 pears unpeeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 Tbs. white wine vinegar
- 3 Tbs. maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1 French baguette, thinly sliced into 26 (1/4-inch thick) slices
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 3 ounces creamy gorgonzola cheese sliced into 26 1-inch squares (less than 1/4-inch thick)
To make the pear confit: In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the onions, pear slices, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar, maple syrup, and thyme. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions and pears are soft, an additional 15 minutes or so.
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Arrange the bread slices on a foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Brush both sides with oil and bake until lightly golden, 12 to 14 minutes (turn halfway to ensure even browning). Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the gorgonzola squares on top of the warm toasts; once the cheese melts a bit, spread it over the tops of the crostini. Spoon the pear confit on top of the cheese, making sure to drizzle all the juices over the crostini. Sprinkle with more chopped thyme and serve.
December 11, 2013 at 11:24 am
Gorgeous flavours! Xxx
December 11, 2013 at 8:33 pm
Thanks, Dimple! xo
December 11, 2013 at 1:20 pm
Hmmm…..gotta try! I made something similar a while back when my neighbor had too many figs to know what to do with. Figs w. Chèvre and onion confit with a drizzle of reduced balsamico
December 11, 2013 at 1:34 pm
Oooooh yum – I LOVE the thought of that combination, Trish! I gotta try that. xo
December 11, 2013 at 3:19 pm
Well, call me old-fashioned because I love them as well. Especially when they’re made for me! But if I did have to make them for a crows, they seem simple enough to make and look delicious!
December 11, 2013 at 8:27 pm
Haha – I guess I am in good company. Thanks, Lidia!
December 11, 2013 at 6:33 pm
I agree. A little nibble is perfect. Your flavor combinations are divine – one of my favorites. Thank you for sharing. Best, Shanna
December 11, 2013 at 8:29 pm
Thanks, Shanna, glad you like it! I spend lots of time dreaming up or obsessing over new flavor combos 🙂
December 13, 2013 at 1:26 am
I could really dream of this combination! 🙂 A little salty crunch could be nice, too, like crispy turkey bacon in small pieces or chopped, roasted pistachios. MMM.
December 13, 2013 at 12:55 pm
Oh yes 🙂 Good ideas – thanks, Shanna!
December 11, 2013 at 7:48 pm
I made one like this but added truffled honey- works a treat too!
December 11, 2013 at 8:30 pm
Oh, sounds elegant, thanks for the idea 🙂
December 11, 2013 at 8:18 pm
Are you trying to steal my husband from me??? ; )
December 11, 2013 at 8:32 pm
Ummm, no? Lol. Why do you ask?! Does he like these flavors? Is he old-fashioned like me? 🙂
December 11, 2013 at 8:37 pm
Absolutely! That’s right up his alley. Forgive me for my silly sense of humor. I’m not paranoid or anything!! ; )
I will make these for him this weekend!
December 11, 2013 at 8:41 pm
Aw, thanks, Serena! That makes my day 🙂 (The fact that you are going to make these, not that you think I’m trying to steal your husband. Lol :P) I take it as a great compliment!
December 11, 2013 at 8:44 pm
December 11, 2013 at 9:58 pm
Ahh again you’re using some great flavor combos. Thyme and gorgonzola with pear. Seriously?? I was going to say you should drizzle honey on it, but I see you’ve used maple syrup. Divine! Well done.
December 13, 2013 at 1:07 pm
I never resist an opportunity to drizzle 🙂 Just the word drizzle has such a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Honey drizzle, maple syrup drizzle, it’s all good.
December 11, 2013 at 11:34 pm
Yum!! Pear and Gorgonzola dolce, a match made in Heaven!
December 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm
Thanks – yes, I think they are destined for each other 🙂
December 12, 2013 at 1:25 am
Beautiful! Pear and gorgonzola are perfect together and I love the addition of some thyme. Simple and elegant, a really wonderful holiday appetizer.
December 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm
Thanks, they really are simple but somehow the flavors make it special. And now I’m dreaming about the flavor combo my friend Trish suggested here – figs, goat cheese, balsamic reduction with onion confit – oh, that would be divine. So many ways this could go 🙂
December 12, 2013 at 12:43 pm
Going to make it for a dinner party of 4 tomorrow evening. Thanks for the idea! 🙂
December 13, 2013 at 1:08 pm
Sure! Have a wonderful dinner party and I hope you like the combo! Hugs, -L
December 14, 2013 at 2:06 pm
wow.looks beautiful! Would probably be just as delicious 🙂
December 16, 2013 at 8:16 pm
Thanks, Ayesha! Nice to see you stopping by here. Cheers!
Pingback: A Festive Recipe Roundup | The Seasoned Traveler