I am always looking for new appetizer ideas that I can serve to our farmhouse guests at Il Casale di Mele for our complimentary Umbrian wine tastings. At our wine tastings, my husbands serves 3 to 4 Umbrian wines, and I try to match each wine with two appetizers each. Although I now have a large repertoire of favorite appetizers to make, I get bored easily if I make the same thing too often so I love trying new things. One ingredient I have learned to love over the past two years is puff pastry. It is so versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. Although I have made my own puff pastry in the past, it is so much easier to buy it frozen, and Dufour is my favorite brand that I always have on hand in my freezer. It thaws quickly allowing you to create tasty snacks or treats whenever you need to.
I first made this recipe for family at Thanksgiving and we all agreed that it was a keeper. The combination of sweet and savory along with a hint of sharp blue cheese is truly addictive! This easy recipes uses puff pastry cut into small squares as the base, and then I top each square with a combination of caramelized onion, pear, chopped walnuts, and blue cheese crumbles. These tasty tidbits are perfect paired with a fairly robust red wine, and can be prepared from start to finish a few hours before you plan to serve them.
Deborah Mele 2014
Caramelized Onion, Pear & Blue Cheese Bites
- 1 (1 Pound) Package Puff Pastry, Thawed
- 1 Medium Onion, Peeled & Chopped
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 2 Medium Ripe Pears, Peeled, Cored & Cut Into Small Dice
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided
- 3 Tablespoons Butter, Divided
- 3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Parsley
- 1/4 Cup Chopped, Lightly Toasted Walnuts
- 1/3 Cup Blue Cheese crumbles
- 1 Medium Egg Beaten With A Tablespoon of Water
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a medium sized frying pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of both the oil and butter until hot over medium heat, then add the onions and stir well.
- Reduce the heat to medium low, and cook, stirring often, until the onions are very soft and lightly browned, about 12 minutes.
- Remove the onions from the pan, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
- Add the remaining oil and butter to the pan and heat over medium heat, then add the pears.
- Cook the pears, stirring often until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Combine the onions and pears along with the parsley in a bowl.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and cut the puff pastry into 2 1/2 inch squares.
- Arrange the puff pastry squares on the baking sheet, and brush the tops with the beaten egg mixture.
- Take about 3/4 of a teaspoon of the pear and onion mixture and mound it into the center of each puff pastry square.
- Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the pear mixture, then do the same with the blue cheese crumbles.
- Bake until the pastry is very puffed and golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 15 minutes.