~ Pear, Blue Cheese, Arugula, Walnuts, Levain ~
Who knew leftovers could taste so good? Day old country-style bread studded with cranberries and walnuts, a chunk of Point Reyes Blue cheese and miniature red pears were remnants of a cheese board I made over the weekend. Day old bread, as un-sexy as that may sound, is a kitchen workhorse – resurrected as toast, crostini, breadcrumbs; folded into puddings and dressings, or swathed in egg and pan-fried. I kept it simple. I topped lightly toasted bread with slices of the blue cheese and pear (culinary best friends), and freshened the pile with a few wisps of arugula and a brush of lemon. What were last weekend’s cheese board stars and today’s less-than-fresh bread made a comeback in this delicious appetizer.
Pear, Blue Cheese and Arugula Bruschetta
If you don’t have a fruit and nut bread, use a country style or levain bread and top the bruschetta with coarsely chopped walnuts. Makes 4.
2 – (1/4 inch thick) slices of walnut or levain bread, halved
Extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces blue cheese such as Point Reyes or Gorgonzola
1/2 cup arugula
2 small red pears, halved, cored, sliced thin
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven broiler. Lightly brush the bread slices with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Broil until lightly golden on both sides, 1-2 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Arrange a layer of thinly sliced blue cheese over the bread. Cover the cheese with a few sprigs of arugula. Fan one half of a pear over the arugula. Brush the pear with lemon juice. Sprinkle with a little freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.