A season of changing leaves and warm layers. A time to swap swimsuits for sweaters; a chance to indulge in pumpkin spice and everything nice. And the very, very best time to shop for fresh, local produce.
My local Walmart is brimming with crisp apples, sweet peaches and earthy root vegetables. Squash in vibrant hues of yellow, orange and green beckon to be added to comforting soups and stews. Concord grapes, perfectly symmetrical and ripe off the vine, sit tightly packed in small baskets. Bartlett pears, soft and fragrant, offer versatility in the sweetest way.
Of course, one of my favourite things to do is cook with nature’s bounty, creating flavourful meals I know my family will love – while showcasing the best of the fall harvest. These Pear, Brie and Walnut Crostinis are a delicious way to pay homage to locally grown Bartlett pears (my favourite!) and couldn’t be simpler to make. I found convenient 5-lb packages at Walmart, in addition to all the other ingredients for this recipe!
Texturally, this appetizer is a winner. The juicy pear and soft, melted cheese melds perfectly with the toasted baguette and crunchy walnuts. Finish with a drizzle of honey and balsamic vinegar… YUM!
Now, if you’re thinking this appetizer may be too complicated for your skill level, think again! I’m hardly a domestic goddess but I rate this recipe E for easy!
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 French baguette, sliced on the bias
1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 Bartlett pears, thinly sliced
1 double cream brie, rind removed and sliced*
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted**
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Brush the baguette slices lightly with olive oil, and grill or broil until the pieces are lightly browned. Remove from heat.
Place slices of brie on top of the toasted baguette, followed by a slice of Bartlett pear. Return to grill or oven and heat through until cheese has melted. Remove from heat, and sprinkle with toasted walnuts and thyme.
In a small bowl, mix together balsamic vinegar and honey. Drizzle over crostinis. Serve immediately.
*You don’t need to remove the rind of the brie – as you can see from the photo above, I left a little on in some places. I love the earthy flavour and think it pairs well with the rest of the ingredients! Alas, if you leave the rind on, you won’t get that super-oozing-melty factor you’re looking for, as the rind will prevent the cheese from fully spreading out. It’s your choice – both ways are fine.
**To toast walnut pieces, you can place them in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes, or you can simply spread them out on a frying pan over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, shaking the pan frequently. Don’t miss this step, though – it makes a huge difference in the overall flavour!
Do you love to cook with fresh ingredients? Follow @WalmartCanada on Twitter and participate in their #DiscoverFreshFood contest. You’ll have the opportunity to take fresh food challenges over the next few months for a chance to win a $200 gift card! Find some inspiration on their recipe centre.
Tell Me: What’s your favourite fresh food during fall?
This post is sponsored by Walmart Canada, as part of the Fresh #DiscoverFresh program. In exchange for this review, I have received special perks in the form of products and/or compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.