Grilled Nectarine Bruschetta with Honey Mascarpone, Pistachios and Basil
Grilling fruit caramelizes its natural sugars, presenting a greater depth of flavor. The light charring of both the fruit and the bread pairs deliciously with the sweetness of the honey and the tang of the balsamic. You can, of course, easily leave the fruit in a raw state if you wish. Using a fat loaf of bread makes for generous slices of bruschetta. Inspired by Cooking Light. Serves 8 (or 16 if you halve the slices).
- 2 local nectarines, quartered, pits removed
- 4 Tbsp. Wildflower honey from Honey Hole Honey Co., available at Sigona’s, divided
- Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for brushing
- 1 loaf crusty French or Italian bread, cut on the diagonal into 8 slices about 1-inch thick
- 2/3 cup Belfiore mascarpone
- Optional: chopped pistachios
- About 3 Tbsp. to 1/4 cup Sigona’s 12-year aged Balsamic Condimento Tradizionale (Mix it up! Try one of our infused balsamics, such as Blackberry Ginger or Lavender.)
- 8 medium leaves fresh basil, chiffonade or chopped
Directions: Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon honey and 1 teaspoon water. Add the quartered nectarines and gently toss to coat.
Brush the grill with a little olive oil. Add the nectarines, cut sides down, in a single layer. Grill for about 2 minutes a side or until grill marks are present and fruit has softened a bit. Remove from the grill, allow to cool to the touch, then slice each quarter into 3 or 4 wedges.
In a small bowl, mix together the mascarpone with about 2 tablespoons honey. Set aside.
Increase grill pan heat to high. Brush both sides of the bread slices with olive oil and place on the grill to toast for 1 minute each side. Remove to a plate.
Spread a generous amount of the honey-mascarpone mixture (about 1 heaping tablespoon) on each slice of toasted bread. Top each slice with 3 or 4 nectarine wedges, then add some chopped pistachios, if using.
Plate the bruschetta on a serving platter. Drizzle the entire dish with remaining honey and balsamic. Top with chiffonade basil and serve.
Chili-Spiked Honey Over Vanilla Ice Cream
While honey from the Honey Hole Honey Co. is superior on its own, infusing it with smokey, spicy chiles takes it to another level (not to mention how spicing things up makes an impressive presentation for this ancient ingredient). Morita chiles are similar to chipotle chiles in that they have a smokey flavor, while the chiles de árbol give off some serious heat. You’ll love how this infusion leaves a warm sensation in your mouth, which pairs beautifully with creamy, sweet vanilla ice cream. Spicy honey is also good in vinaigrettes and marinades, or over cheese or toast. Adapted from Cooking Light. Makes about 1/2 to 2/3 cup, serves about 12 to 16.
- 2 dried chiles morita
- 3 dried chiles de árbol, divided
- 3/4 cup Wildflower honey from Honey Hole Honey Co., available at Sigona’s (about 1/2 lb.)
- A pinch kosher salt
- Marianne’s Vanilla Ice Cream
- Fresh basil or mint, for garnish
Directions: Set aside one chile de árbol. Remove stems from remaining chiles and place them in a mini food processor. Pulse until chiles are coarsely chopped.
In a small saucepan, combine chile mixture, honey and salt. Warm over medium-low to low heat for 15 minutes, keeping temperature under 180°F (keep an eye on it!). Remove pan from heat; cool 1 hour.
Place remaining chile de árbol in a 1-cup glass jar with a sealable lid. Pour the honey mixture through a fine sieve into the jar; discard solids.
Drizzle as much honey as desired (we recommend about 2 teaspoons) over each serving of ice cream. Serve immediately.
Seal remaining honey in the jar; store honey at room temperature.