Do you like the contrast between tastes salty and sweet? Do you have twenty-five free minutes? If so, imagine greenish-blue veins dancing through beige, creamy cheese. Think of deceptively easy appetizers that make your mouth water. Then dash to the store. Invest in some sweet, utilitarian Gorgonzola from Italy or some intense, sublime Roquefort from France. Then share your treasure by creating simple and delicious appetizers. Depending on the eating habits of your guests, try the one of the two easy recipes below.
Carnivore’s Gorgonzola and Bacon Crostini Recipe
• 4 ounces Gorgonzola Cheese
• 1 baguette
• 5 slices of pork or salted turkey bacon
• Fresh, California basil leaves, ripped into small triangles*
(*dried basil can be substituted in a pinch)
While preheating the oven to 400 degrees, cut the baguette into 12 (1/3- or ½-inch-thick) slices. Set slices aside. Fry the bacon and blot the bacon slices with a paper towel. Cut off any extra fat. Then cut the bacon into 12 small, triangular pieces and set aside. Place the baguette slices on a cookie sheet. Toast them in the oven at four hundred degrees until they are golden brown, approximately seven minutes. Set aside to cool. Partially melt the Gorgonzola on medium-low heat in a saucepan (or in the microwave for approximately 18 seconds) so that it becomes soft and spreadable. Remove it from heat. When the toasted crostini are cool, spread them with the Gorgonzola. Top with a small piece of sweet basil. Finish with a triangle of bacon. Transfer the appetizers to a serving platter and serve. Friends will think you’ve slaved over these quick, carnivore’s appetizers. Smile knowingly and enjoy!
Vegetarian Roquefort Crostini Recipe
• 3 ounces Roquefort
• 1 baguette
• ½ cup chopped, toasted nuts (such as hazelnuts)
Store the cheese at room temperature for a little while so that it will be easier to spread. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the baguette into 12 1/3-inch-thick slices. Toast in the oven on a cookie sheet until golden brown, approximately 7 minutes. Cool the crostini. Gently spread them with the Roquefort. Lightly sprinkle nuts over each crostini. Then drizzle each appetizer lightly with honey (do not over do it, remember that it’s not a cookie). Discerning guests will enjoy the contrast between the salty cheese and the sweet toppings.