I love a great appetizer! I think it is the small bite that is packed with flavor that gets me each time. Appetizers make me happy. I love eating them. I love making them. I love creating new recipes for them. I love enjoying them on a Friday night. Speaking of Friday Night – my weekly series "Friday Night Bites" is BACK. Yes I said it is back!
I adore this series and feel a real personal connection to each and every week. I actually have recipes ready to share for the next four weeks with more in development. If you have been a reader for some time, you are familiar with the series. For those of you who are new to my blog – I share a new appetizer each Friday with all of you.
This series was inspired by a tradition that my hubby and I practice each Friday Night. We both have demanding jobs that we love. By Friday night we are ready to relax and unwind from the work week. We share a bottle of wine and a few appetizers. The appetizers could be as simple as an orchestrated cheese plate or a tasty Crostini or even something fancy if we are sharing our tradition with friends. Each week is different. If you follow me on Instagram (@authenticsuburbangourmet), I post a photo of the wine we are enjoying each Friday – feel free to follow me.
Crostini’s are one of my “go to” appetizers simply because they are tasty and versatile. The combinations are endless and you can stretch your creativity far and wide. The savory and sweet thing is great for a Crostini. This week I used ricotta, morello cherries, reduced balsamic vinegar, fresh thyme and fleur de sel. The flavor profiles were amazing.
Your favorite Pinot Noir would be an outstanding pairing with this Crostini. Pinot Noir wine is produced from red grapes but it is much lighter in color than other red wines. Pinot Noir flavors and aromas include roses, fruits, black cherry, berry, and currant. Other Pinot Noir characteristics include high acidity and low tannins. Pinot Noir's flavor depends heavily where it is grown and how the wine maker treats it, so a good winery can produce exceptional wines. With the cherry flavors and aromas, it compliments the cherry on the Crostini.
16 (1/2 inch thick) diagonally cut French baguette slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 to 8 ounces of Ricotta Cheese (whole milk)
48 Morello Cherries*
½ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme Leaves
2 Tablespoons Chives, finely minced
Fleur de Sel
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush each slice with olive oil and place onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned – best to turn over halfway during the baking process to ensure even browning.
To reduce the balsamic vinegar, add the vinegar to a small sauce pan and cook on medium until reduced in half and has a syrup texture. Process should take about 10 to 15 minutes.
Spread with the ricotta cheese onto each Crostini, then top with 3 morello cherries on each and drizzle with the reduced balsamic vinegar. Garnish each one with a few thyme leaves and chives, small pinch of fleur de sel and a pinch of ground pepper on each. Enjoy!
*I found the Morello cherries at Trader Joe’s