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

Grilled 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 Organic Arbequina 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 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 the assembled toasts. Serve immediately.

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