Fig Jam, Blue Cheese, Pear and Arugula Crostini

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Makes 36


   Fig Jam:
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
 1 cup dried Mission figs, stemmed and coarsely chopped
 ½ cup Marsala
 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
 2 tablespoons brown sugar
 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
 Freshly ground pepper to taste
   1 baguette, cut into ¼-inch slices
   2 tablespoons butter, melted
   8 ounces soft blue cheese
   1-1/2 cups arugula
   2 pears, cut into thin slices 


 Fig jam:  Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add shallot and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add figs, Marsala, rosemary, and brown sugar.  Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.  Add one cup water and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer, adding more water if necessary, until figs are soft, about one hour.  Season with salt and pepper.

 Preheat broiler.  Brush the bread slices on one side with butter and toast under broiler until lightly browned.  Turn the slices over and spread each on with about 2 teaspoons of fig jam; spread or crumble blue cheese over jam.  Return the toasts to the broiler and cook until cheese is melted.  Remove from the oven and top each toast with a few leaves of arugula and slices of pear. 
 Preheat oven to 350°F.  Brush one side of the baguette slices with melted butter and toast until lightly browned and crisp.  Remove from the oven and cool.  Spread fig jam on toasts and top with some of the blue cheese.  Arrange a few leaves of arugula and a few slices of pear on top.