Saturday, October 31, 2015

Ricotta, Warm Pear, and Thyme Crostini


Guess what we'll be having for appetizers Thanksgiving Day.

We gave these morsels a spin the other night as a precursor to the husband's birthday dinner, and whoo boy, these are tasty little numbers. Tasty enough to trot out in front of family and friends for Thanksgiving Dinner.


Last year, about this time, I picked up Sunday Suppers, a fantastically photographed menu-based cookbook. It has been a delightful cookbook that has not steered me wrong, so I should have had faith that these would need to have more than a supporting role in a dinner at home. I am a reborn believer in this book. In the pear. In the pear cooked in butter and sugar and sprinkled with fried thyme leaves.

Seriously, what about that doesn't sound like perfection?


The crostini are as simple as can be, and we agreed that warm or cold, the pears are the stars.  Warm, they lend more of a savory quality to the crostini. Cold, the sweetness really stands at attention. Further, I love me a simple ricotta, which is a nice play against the buttery, thyme-y pears. Served in front of beef bourguignon (husband's main dish of choice for his birthday dinner), and you have a meal.

I suspect the same will be said of their attendance in front of turkey.


But you don't need a birthday dinner or a Thanksgiving celebration for these. Make the slices of bread bigger (say, from a country loaf rather than a baguette), and you could have a decadent breakfast. Make the pears the night before and stash them in the fridge and you not only have luxury on your hands for a Saturday morning, but you have ease.


But I will also be having these on Thanksgiving Day (and perhaps a few more mornings between now and then).


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Ricotta, Warm Pear, and Thyme Crostini

Adapted from  Sunday Suppers

Yield:
4-6

Ingredients:  
For the bread:
2 Tbsp olive oil
8 slices country loaf bread, cut into 1/2-inch slices or 16 slices baguette
1 clove garlic, halved

For the topping :
1 Tbsp butter or olive oil
1 Bartlett pear, sliced (do not peel)
1 tsp coarse brown sugar
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup fresh ricotta

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2.  Brush the olive oil over one side of each bread slice, and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast the bread, flipping the slices once, until golden brown, about 8 minutes.

3.  In a small skillet, heat the butter or olive oil over medium heat. Add the pear slices, brown sugar, and thyme sprigs. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the pears are cooked but still retain their shape. (You can cool the pears at this point if you would prefer.)

2.  To serve, rub the toast with the halved garlic clove.  Spread the ricotta over each toast, top with the pears, drizzle with the olive oil (optional), and sprinkle with sea salt.

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