In the Kitchen: Classic Fall Recipes

Grilled Pear & Blue Cheese Crostini with Bacon and Sigona’s Cranberry-Pear Vinaigrette_smGrilled Pear & Blue Cheese Crostini with Bacon and Sigona’s Cranberry-Pear Vinaigrette

Cranberry and pear are two great flavors of fall, and both pair beautifully with blue cheese. We’ve adapted this recipe from Food & Travel Magazine to give you a unique way to enjoy some of our favorites of the season. Enjoy with a chilled Rosé or Riesling. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe, firm Bosc pears
  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press Leccino extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 head frisée lettuce, torn, or 1 1/2 cups arugula, torn
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp. Sigona’s Cranberry Pear balsamic vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • 4 slices (1/2-inch thick) crusty bread, such as Acme Pain Au Levain
  • 4 TBL crumbled gorgonzola, such as Stella, or blue cheese, such as Nauvoo
  • 2-3 TBL cooked, crumbled bacon/pancetta OR chopped walnuts (we won’t judge if you use both!), optional

For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Cranberry Pear infused balsamic
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press Leccino extra virgin olive oil

Start with the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, mix together the Dijon, balsamic, salt and pepper. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil and mix well to emulsify the mixture. Set aside.

For the pear-topped toasts: Halve each pear and scoop out the core. Cut each half lengthwise into slices about 1/2 inch thick (about 5-6 slices). Using 1 TBL olive oil, brush the pears with oil. Place a cut side of the pear down on a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat and grill until the pear has grill marks and the sugar has started to caramelize, about 2 ½ – 3 minutes. Flip pears and grill another 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, using 1 TBL olive oil, lightly brush the slices of bread. You can put these in the oven to broil, but I recommend using a stovetop grill. Using a stovetop grill or large pan, grill both sides just slightly on a medium-high heat, just about 1 min per side. This makes the bread crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Once toasted, set aside.

Toss the frisée or arugula with 1 ½ tsp. of the cranberry pear vinaigrette and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Brush one side of the toasted bread with some of the vinaigrette, then top with the frisee/arugula and grilled pears. Sprinkle with crumbled cheese and top with bacon and/or walnuts. Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette on top of hte assembled toasts. Serve immediately.

Local, Organic Roasted Butternut Squash & Apples with Sigona’s Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette_smLocal, Organic Roasted Butternut Squash & Apples with Sigona’s Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Simple, festive and delicious! The maple balsamic adds a whole new layer of flavor that complements the butternut squash and apples. Serve as a side to roasted chicken, pan-seared pork chops or atop a green salad with red onion, feta cubed/shredded chicken and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over meats or salads, or use it as a bread dipper. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash (about 1.5-2 lbs), peeled and diced into 1/2 cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 3 apples, such as Braeburn, Newton Pippin or Granny Smith, cubed (about 4 cups)
  • 1 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & black pepper, to taste
  • About 1 TBL or so Sigona’s Red Apple Balamic Vinaigrette, to taste (recipe follows)

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • 3 TBL Sigona’s Sigona’s Maple infused balsamic OR Sigona’s Red Apple infused balsamic
  • 1 TBL minced shallot
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Toss the squash and apple in 1 TBL in the olive oil and coat well. Season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast at 425F for about 25-30 minutes, flipping once, until squash and apples are soft and lightly browned.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the balsamic, shallot, garlic and Dijon. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil and mix well until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

When done, let the apples and squash cool about 5 minutes then transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with 1 – 2 TBL or so of the balsamic vinaigrette. Serve remaining vinaigrette on the side, if desired.

Serving suggestion: Serve as a side to roasted chicken, pan-seared pork chops or atop a green salad with red onion, feta cubed/shredded chicken and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds.

Spice-rubbed Pork Chops with Pear-Ginger Chutney_smSpice-rubbed Pork Chops with Pear-Ginger Chutney

The light sweetness from the pear works well with the fantastic flavor combination of cumin in the dry rub and the fresh ginger in the chutney. This dish is flavorful, simple and comforting, and would pair well with a big red wine, such as a big Cabernet Sauvignon. Adapted from Cooking Light. Serves 4.

Chutney:

  • 1 TBL butter
  • 5 cups (1/4-inch) cubed peeled Bosc or D’Anjou pear (about 3 pears)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 TBL brown sugar
  • 3 TBL cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. ground allspice

Pork:

  • 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut pork loin chops, trimmed

Directions: To prepare chutney, melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pear and sauté 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the cranberries, vinegar, ginger, salt, dry mustard and allspice. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer about 8-10 minutes or until pears are tender; stir occasionally.

While the chutney simmers, heat 1 TBL olive oil in a grill pan over medium-high heat.

Combine cumin, salt, garlic powder and coriander, then sprinkle over pork. Add pork to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with chutney.

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