So it's time for something savory. I've been on a bit of a baking kick lately and am sorely neglecting the non-sweet side of things. I've already built a bed today (hello, bedroom update!), so I'm falling back on a favorite fast appetizer. It's a go-to of mine when people are coming to dinner and I don't have time (or let's be honest, energy) to make something more involved.
I love serving appetizers when I have guests. I want them to come in while dinner is still being finished up, while enough work is left for them to be present for cooking and conversation. I love sharing that time. They sip wine and have something to munch on while we finish the final preparations and talk with them over the creation of a shared meal.
Having an appetizer waiting is a bit like having a jazz record on the turntable when they arrive. It's one of my welcome mats. I want to extend the table to them as soon as they walk in, to be sure they know how happy I am they're here and that an extra layer has been added because of their presence. Not that this is a huge multi-course masterpiece or anything. Often it's as simple as a wedge of cheese and some water crackers. But it's a tangible sign of opening one's arms and one's home. I love how much the smallest gestures can add significance to an otherwise simple meal.
This recipe is a favorite of mine for exactly that simplicity and significance. It's a breeze to whip up and packs such a delicious flavor. I discovered this cambozola (brie and bleu hybrid) at Trader Joe's about two years back and have been hopelessly addicted to it (and all its kin) ever since. I pretty much find any excuse I can to include it in meals, whether in a recipe or just plopped in all its glory on a cheese board. Seriously, just look at this beauty.
It's such a versatile recipe. I play with it often, adding things here and there depending on what I have in my refrigerator at a given moment. I've added arugula, winter pears, cranberry, apricot, tart apple slices, and any number of other extras. Think of this as a base from which you can extrapolate. It's quite malleable. And delicious. Have I mentioned that cheese?
Now excuse me for a moment while I go stuff all of these into my face.
honeyed proscuitto & blue-brie crostini
1 french baguette
olive oil for brushing
1 package of proscuitto
a wedge of cambozola cheese
honey, to drizzle
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Slice the baguette into half-inch pieces, cutting on a horizontal line.
Place the sliced baguette on a foil-lined baking sheet and brush each front and back with a light coat of olive oil.
Bake for 5-10 minutes, or until lightly crisped.
Top each crostini with a small piece of proscuitto, a slice of cambozola cheese, and drizzle with honey.