In my perfect world, I would only eat appetizers and dessert in a restaurant. I usually find the appetizer menu to be more interesting and really, I am thinking ahead to dessert. Why eat a heavy meal if all I really want is the lemon dessert on the dessert menu? I like appetizers at home too. I really like to have a night where my husband and I open a bottle of wine and have a few appetizers instead of a real dinner. We will sit on the couch and watch a movie and it almost feels like a date even though our children are usually asleep in the next room.
I like appetizers like this in my arsenal because I usually have everything that I need for it on hand. I also love the combination of sweet and savory and these could honestly be served for dessert with a nice glass of port. This appetizer makes me want to pretend that I am sitting in a vineyard in Provence somewhere. The earthy flavor of the walnuts, the rich cheese, the gorgeous honey and the herbes de Provence. I love herbes de Provence and have been able to find it everywhere lately. It is an herb blend usually with thyme, fennel, and marjoram. Every one that I have ever bought has been a little bit different. I fell in love with it making this turkey a few Thanksgivings ago.
I found this recipe in the magazine that they give away at Raley’s. It calls for goat cheese instead of cream cheese, but I am not a fan of goat cheese. But if you are, by all means, use that instead.
2 cup walnuts chopped 3/4 cup honey 3/4 cup chopped dried apples 2 teaspoons orange zest 1 tablespoon orange juice 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence 1 teaspoon ground corriander 1 teaspoon lemon juice salt and pepper 8 ounces room temperature cream cheese 1 loaf of baguette
I think that it is easier to start with the softened cream cheese and get the herbs and liquids mixed in first. So that is what I did.
Add the walnuts.
Mix it all together. Taste to make sure that it is seasoned properly.
Slice the bread and spread some of the mixture on each piece. Put the crostini under the broiler for about 2 minutes. You just want to warm the bread and cheese.
The bread will be crusty on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. The cheese will be warm and gooey.
I like to garnish with a little sprinkling of herbes de Provence. Look how beautiful those flecks of lavender are.