Ottolenghi's Pear Crostinis
Ottolenghi’s Plenty is becoming an essential for me in the kitchen. This recipe is all about the flavour combination of pear and cheese, which is absolutely delicious. I have changed this recipe slightly; you can find the original here.
- 30 g pine nuts
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- some bread, sliced. Ottolenghi says to use sourdough bread; I think a nice crusty baguette is also nice.
- 3 semi-ripe pears. You don’t want really ripe pears or they will be too mushy.
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 120 g. goat’s cheese
- pickled chervil to garnish (or parsley, or cilantro)
- salt and pepper
Make the spread
Place the pine nuts, garlic clove, 4 tbsp of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and some pepper in the a food processor and work to a coarse and wet paste. Set aside.
Preparing the pears
First cut the pears lengthwise, and remove the core.
Now, these are Ottolenghi’s instructions:
- Place the slices in a bowl with the remaining 1 tbsp of oil, the sugar, lemon juice, and a pinch salt. Toss gently.
- Take a ridged griddle pan and place on high heat until piping hot, and then lay the pear slices gently in the pan and leave for about a minute on each side, just to make char marks. Turn carefully and then remove with tongs, trying not to break the pears.
However, I don’t own a ridged griddle pan, so I recommend simply poaching the pears. Place the pears in a pot of simmering water, with a generous amount of lemon juice and sugar, and gently simmer until pears are tender but not mushy and liquid is syrupy. You could also add other things to the water - lemon zest, honey, white wine….
Spread the crushed pine nut mixture over your toast. Put in a toaster oven for a few minutes until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven, and lay some pear slices over each slide. Top with a dollop of goat’s cheese. Put back in the toaster oven for a few minutes, just to warm everything up and for the cheese to partly melt.
Garnish with chervil leaves or extra pine nuts if you like. Serve immediately.
You can do all the preparation ahead of time if you like, storing your pine nut spread and the poached pears in the fridge, and then assemble the crustinis when you about to eat.