Walnut Toasts with Gruyère and Blackberries

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

A creamy sauce made with nutty Gruyère cheese sets off the sweetness of blackberries in this elegant sweet-and-savory appetizer that also makes a great dessert or part of an elegant brunch. If you are lucky enough to have some lemon basil in your garden, use it as a garnish to add a fresh aroma.

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices country-style walnut bread, each about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. (1/4 stick) (1 oz./30 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) whole milk
  • 2 cups (8 oz./250 g) grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup (6 oz./185 g) blackberries
  • Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
  • Small basil leaves for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat until very hot.

While the grill pan heats, brush the bread slices with the olive oil. Place the bread slices on the hot grill pan and toast, turning once, until golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes on each side. Set aside.

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, whisking, until a thick paste forms, about 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to low and, whisking constantly, slowly add the milk. Cook, whisking frequently, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until melted and thoroughly combined. Cover to keep warm and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the blackberries until the berries have softened slightly and just begin to release their juices, about 5 minutes.

To serve, divide the walnut toasts among 4 plates. Divide the Gruyère sauce evenly among the toasts, then top each with an equal quantity of the blackberries. Sprinkle lightly with salt, garnish with basil leaves and serve immediately. Serves 4.

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