Monday, May 2, 2011

Blue Cheese Bruschetta and Apples

As promised, tonight I'm pulling out the grill plate sides of my new counter-top Griddler, a grill/griddle hybrid that I used to make pancakes to perfection a few nights ago (see my post for Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes).  Try the Soy Bleu from Sunergia to capture the strong flavor of Gorgonzola cheese in this appetizer.

  • 1/3 cup crumbled vegan blue cheese (such as Sunergia)
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 (1-ounce) slices diagonally cut French bread baguette
  • Cooking spray
  • 6 halved garlic cloves
  • 3 Granny Smith apples (about 18 ounces total)
1. Combine the blue cheese, butter, brandy, and black pepper in a bowl, stirring until blended; set aside.

2. Heat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan coated with cooking spray over high heat.  Add the bread slices and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.

3. Rub the cut side of 1 garlic clove evenly over one side of each bread slice.  Spread about 2 teaspoons of the blue cheese mixture over each bread slice.  Cut each apple into 8 wedges, and serve the apple wedges alongside the bruschetta.

Nutrition Info:
12 servings (1 bruschetta, 2 apple wedges), Calories 148

Tasting Notes:
I loved the blue cheese spread, but I have to lay that fact aside for a moment  Unfortunately, I did not like the rest of this appetizer, nor its presentation.  The Granny Smith apple was much too tart, in comparison to the blue cheese mixture, and I recommend a sweet variety like Braeburn or Pink Lady.  It also felt very strange to serve warm baguette and spread next to the room temperature apples - why not throw the apple slices on the grill for a minute or two as well, to soften and sweeten the flavor?  Still another option would be to dice the apple very fine and stir into the blue cheese spread.  This ended up feeling like a strange appetizer to offer guests, and I unfortunately would not do so again.

In terms of the spread - I loved the bite from the blue cheese and the strong, warm flavor from the brandy.  If you don't love the taste of alcohol, consider decreasing the amount of brandy by half, because even that 1 tablespoon made it quite strong.  I similarly would have liked more spread per bread slice, and next time would double the spread and drop the apple altogether.  The final rating for this recipe, therefore, would be much closer to a 4 if I was rating the spread alone, and would probably fall to a 2 (my lowest yet) if the spread hadn't been so darn yummy.


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