Thursday, 12 August 2010

pear crostini

I love eating sweet and savory together.  I also love goats cheese, pears and sourdough bread.  This is a real good recipe from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi.

Serves 4
30g pine nuts
5 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to finish
1 clove of garlic, peeled
4 large slices of sourdough bread, cut 1.5cm thick
3 semi-ripe pears (unpeeled)
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
120g good-quality goat's cheese
picked chervil to garnish
salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200 0c/gas mark 6.  Place the pine nuts, 4 tablespoons of the olive oil, the garlic, a pinch of salt and some black pepper in a bowl  of a food processor and work to a coarse wet paste.  Use a brush to apply to one side of every sourdough slice.  Lay the bread slices on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly coloured.  Remove and allow to cool slightly.

While the bread is in the oven, prepare the pears.  Stand each pear on a chopping board and use a sharp knife to trim off a few milimetres of the skin from each side.  Then cut each pear lengthways into four thick slices.  Remove the core with the tip of a knife.  Place the slices in a bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, the sugar, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.  Toss gently.

Take a ridged griddle pan and place on the highest heat until piping hot.  Lay the pear slices gently in the pan and leave for about a minute on each side, just to make char marks.  Turn carefully and then remove with tongs, trying not to break the pears.

To assemble the crostini, slice the cheese thinly ad arrange over the toasts, alongside the pears.  You want to be able to see both clearly, so allow them to overlap and rest on each other to create height.  Place the crostini in the oven for 3-4 minutes, just to warm up and for the cheese to party melt.  Remove from the oven.

Garnish the crostini with the picked chervil leaves, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.  Serve hot or warm.

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