Crostini with Ricotta, Pears and Toasted Pecans
Serves 6 to 8
Topped with thin slices of crunchy pear, toasted pecans and finished with Strawberry Balsamic Reduction, these lightly sweet crostini are a simple appetizer. Serve with your favorite pinot grigio.
1/2 baguette, cut into slices 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick
Queen Creek Olive Mill Extra Virgin Olive Oil for brushing
1 cup (4 oz./125 g) pecan pieces
1 Bosc pear
1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) Ricotta cheese
Queen Creek Olive Mill Strawberry Balsamic Reduction
Freshly ground sea salt
Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Arrange the baguette slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush the tops lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Leave the oven on. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the pecans on the prepared baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Toast until the pecans are toasted and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Cut the pear into quarters, remove the core, and thinly slice each quarter. To assemble, spread 2 tsp. of the ricotta on each baguette slice. Top each with 1 to 2 pear slices and sprinkle with the chopped pecans. Drizzle with the strawberry balsamic reduction. Season with sea salt before serving.
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
1 tablespoon Queen Creek Olive Mill Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup minced onion
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 twenty-eight-ounce can whole plum tomatoes
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
chiffonade of basil (about 10 leaves)
2 cups heavy cream
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Then add garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add wine. Stir in tomatoes, including juices, and break up the tomatoes with spoon. Bring to a boil. Pour in the broth and add the bay leaf. Return to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and blend until smooth with a stick blender. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, then stir in the basil. Add heavy cream and heat thoroughly without boiling. Add salt to taste.
Ricotta and Arugula Stuffed Mushrooms
12 baby portabella mushrooms, cleaned and stemmed
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup chopped arugula
1 egg, whisked
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Queen Creek Olive Mill Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Arrange mushrooms on a baking sheet, Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the ricotta, arugula, whisked egg, garlic, and salt in a mixing bowl. Spoon ricotta mixture into each of the mushrooms. Drizzle with olive oil and bake 8-10 minutes.