Tag Archives: gorgonzola

Bruschetta with Roquefort Cheese and Peppers

28 Jun

We’ve been loving our Gourmet Dinner Club for the past three years.  It’s made up of several foodie-couples who adore cooking and eating.  We somehow get our acts together and pull off a four course meal with appetizers, salad, main dish, and dessert, complete with specific wine pairings to match each course.

On one of those fun nights, I made this Bruschetta.  Much of it can be prepared ahead of time, which is a huge plus that anyone who hates last-minute scrambling will appreciate!

Sauteed sweet peppers, garlic, basil, and Roquefort cheese over french baguette

We dig out our cute linens, our “good” dishware, and always the Riedel stem ware.  OK, yeah, it’s a little bit on the frou-frou side, but oh soooo much fun!  Bonus: We get to use our “good stuff” more than just once or twice a year!  If you have some food loving friends, chat about starting some kind of dinner club.  Whether you go with a casual or upscale style, it is absolutely loads of fun.  Oh, if you have young kiddos like we do… totally get a sitter.

Smoked salmon is also a deliciously savory accompaniment to have.

Add whatever other toppings you like to those crispy baguettes.  Have fun with it!

RECIPE (serves 6-8)

INGREDIENTS
1-2 French baguettes
extra virgin olive oil
2 bell peppers (I used red and yellow)
1/2 tsp sugar
3-4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup sliced basil leaves
1/4 lb Roquefort cheese (can also use Gorgonzola)
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
kosher salt to taste

DIRECTIONS
Seed and thinly slice the peppers.  Heat 2-3 TB olive oil over medium-high.  Saute garlic until aromatic and soft.  Add peppers and saute until they are soft, about 10 minutes.  Add sugar and saute for a couple more minutes.  Last, stir in basil for a minute.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.  This pepper mixture can be made an hour or two ahead of time and set aside to warm later.

Heat oven to 375F.  Slice baguette evenly into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Brush each slice with olive oil on top.  Place in a large pan lined with parchment paper (important for even toasting and to avoid burnt bottoms).  Toast just until lightly browned, about 8-9 minutes.

Spoon pepper mixture on each baguette slice.  Top with crumbled cheese.  Return to oven for another minute just to warm up.  Serve warm.  Enjoy!
Source:  Chew Out Loud,  adapted from Ina Garten

Roasted Pear Gorgonzola Salad

26 Jun Savory Gorgonzola, dried cranberries, and pecans smothered in a light, lemony dressing

Around here, we love our pears.  Hubby eats them super ripe, I eat them crunchy, and the kids just eat them.   The leafy greens?  Still working on getting the young’uns to chow down on arugula, but for today I’m happy that they devour their pears!  With the beautiful, warm weather here in June, I wanted to make a light and refreshing salad that we could enjoy Al fresco.  Thus, the Roasted Pear Gorgonzola Salad makes its well-timed appearance.

Juicy, sweet, roasted pears atop baby greens and arugula

Savory Gorgonzola, dried cranberries, and pecans smothered in a light, lemony dressing

The saltiness of Gorgonzola, sweetness of dried cranberries, and the crunch of toasted pecans marry gorgeously under a lemony sweet dressing.

It sounds like work to roast pears, but it is quite simple.  The individual flavors of this salad go so well together, it is as if they were meant to meet.  Definitely Gourmet Dinner Club worthy.

RECIPE (Serves 6)

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup apple cider
3 TB very sweet dessert wine, such as Port or Framboise
1/3 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
3 TB extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 oz crumbled Gorgonzola (or Roquefort works well, too)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup toasted and chopped pecans
3 semi-ripe pears
1 pkg baby greens
1 pkg arugula
fresh cracked pepper

DIRECTIONS

For the Basting Sauce:  Combine apple cider, dessert wine, and brown sugar in a bowl until sugar is dissolved.  Set aside.  Can be made up to 1-2 hours ahead of time.

For the Dressing: Combine olive oil, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup of the basting sauce.  Set aside at room temp.

Peel and slice pears in half lengthwise.  Carefully remove core and seeds from pears, leaving a rounded well for filling later.  Trim away a tiny slice from bottom of each pear so they sit flat on roasting pan.  Spoon some basting sauce over each pear, and bake until tender (approx. 30 min).  Baste pears with sauce a couple more times while baking.

Prepare individual plates by dividing the baby greens mixed with arugula.  When pears are partly cool, place on top of the greens.  Fill each pear with a mixture of crumbled Gorgonzola, dried cranberries, and pecans.  Sprinkle remaining mixture over rest of the salad.  Generously drizzle lemon dressing on top of pears and greens.  Sprinkle with cracked pepper and enjoy!

Source:  Chew Out Loud, adapted from Barefoot Contessa