Crostini with Ricotta, Pears and Spiced Walnuts
Topped with thin slices of crunchy pear and walnuts tossed with maple syrup, these lightly sweet crostini are a refreshing contrast when served with spicier or more pungent appetizers, like our Crostini with Beef Tenderloin, Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese (see related recipes).
- 1/2 baguette, cut into slices 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick
- Olive oil for brushing
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
- 1 Tbs. maple syrup
- 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) walnut halves
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 pear
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) ricotta cheese
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.
In a bowl, stir together the butter and maple syrup. Add the walnuts and toss to coat. In another small bowl, stir together the cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne and salt. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the walnuts and toss to coat.
Spread the walnuts on the prepared baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Toast until the walnuts are toasted and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Coarsely chop the walnuts.
Immediately before assembling, 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 walnuts. Season with salt and pepper before serving. Serves 6 to 8.
Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen