There have been so many nights when I’ve called Ric as I’m driving home from work and he asked me what I would like for dinner and then he’d say something like, “We have a stale slice of bread, two dried out blueberries in the back of the fridge, a carrot and a tube of toothpaste. What can you do with that?”…Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating just a bit, but some days it is slim pickins in our kitchen and we are both too tired or lazy to run off to the market so we just make do with what we have. Today was one of the days.
This is what I had to work with- a bunch of watercress, one four ounce log of chevre, a tub of marscapone, a half drunk bottle of Brochelle Estate Zinfandel (almost too tasty of a wine for cooking but it did make a spectacular syrup), a sad looking lemon, a somewhat stale mini baguette and a lonely little pear. Here is what I came up with…
I have adjusted the recipe from our single lonely pear for one hungry couple so that it will serve 6-8 as an appetizer.
RED WINE POACHED PEAR & GOAT CHEESE BRUSCHETTA
3 pears, cored and sliced ¼” thick
1 ½ cups red wine
1/2 cup sugar
Juice from a half of a lemon
1 French baguette, cut into ¼” thick slices
4 ounces goat cheese
4 ounces of mascarpone cheese (or sour cream)
1 bunch of watercress
Salt and Pepper
In a medium size saucepan bring the wine, sugar and lemon juice to a boil. Add the pear slices and reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 7 to 9 minutes until the pears are well colored and tender but not falling apart. Remove pear slices setting them aside.
Return the wine mixture to a low boil for 3 to 4 minutes to reduce the liquid, turning it into sweet dark syrup.
Pre-heat oven broiler.
While the pears are cooking, combine the goat cheese and mascarpone with a fork or food processor. Lightly toast the bread slices under a broiler for a minute or less. Spread the cheese mixture on each piece of bread. Place a sprig of watercress on top of the cheese. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.
Place the pear slices back in pan and coat with syrup. With a small spoon, pick up one pear slice at a time and place it on a baguette slice. Drizzle with a little of the remaining syrup.