Sunday, 20 November 2011

Appies with Friends - Brie, Date and Toasted Walnut Crostini

When I think of Saturday nights, I often think about getting together with those near and dear to me.  Entertaining can be so much fun but it can also be stressful if you aren't prepared properly.  Nothing is worse than inviting friends over for nibbles, and missing all the action while you're cooped up in the kitchen.  That is why when planning my menu, I always look for recipes that don't require a lot of fussing and preparation right when everyone arrives.

These crostini fit the bill really well.  Most of the prep work can be done ahead of time which frees up valuable time for catching up with those near and dear to your heart.   Oh, and they are delicious so everyone will think you've fussed when you haven't!

Brie, Date and Toasted Walnut Crostini

1          medium baguette sliced into 1/2" rounds (about 24 slices)
2 Tbs.  extra-virgin olive oil
            Kosher Salt
1/2 c.   coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 c.   fresh dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 Tbs.  honey
1 Tbs.  balsamic vinegar
6 oz.    brie, rind trimmed, softened at room temperature
2 Tbs.  chives, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 425.  Set the baguette slices on a large baking sheet; dab both sides with the olive oil and sprinkle one side lightly with salt (about 1/4 tsp for all the bread).  Bake until the bread starts to brown and crisp, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the walnuts with the dates, money, and balsamic vinegar.  While the toasts are still warm, spread with the brie and then top with the date and nut mixture.  Sprinkle with the chives and serve.

The crostini are best served right out of the oven, but they can also hold for an hour or two at room temperature.

Serves 8

Recipe courtesy of Fine Cooking.

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