I currently live in Charlotte, NC and after spending 7 years as a personal chef and caterer, I am now happy to share my love of cooking with friends and family. My heart is in the kitchen, but my soul is in the stars!

Summertime Nosh


With the temperatures in the Queen City reaching all-time record highs of 100+ degrees these past couple of weeks, my summertime meals have become more of a nosh than an actual meal.  The heat just seems to completely zap my appetite and who wants to heat up an already blazing hot kitchen with an oven and long cooking times?

This quick and easy recipe from Southern Living featuring two of my favorite things: cherries and bleu cheese certainly fits the bill for something light yet satisfying on a hot summer day.  The combination of the sweet cherries and honey, the salty bleu cheese and the savory rosemary and arugula sends the taste buds into deliciousness overload. 

This is meant to be an appetizer and the kind where you can set out all the individual components and allow your guests to assemble their own crostini or you can assemble and plate in advance.  The cherry compote also keeps for at least a week in the refrigerator.  The only change that I would make from the original recipe next time is to coarsely chop the cherries and possibly even the arugula as leaving them whole made for a pretty hefty crostini and it was awkward to bite into and maintain a lady-like appearance. 

Stay cool but don't stay out of the kitchen!

Honey-Rosemary Cherries & Bleu Cheese Crostini
Southern Living, December 2011

printable recipe

1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 (12-oz.) package frozen dark, sweet pitted cherries, thawed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups loosely packed arugula
16 (1/4-inch-thick) ciabatta bread slices, toasted
1 (8-oz.) wedge bleu cheese, thinly sliced*

1. Drain cherries and coarsely chop, reserving the juice.  Sauté shallot in hot oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Add cherries (and reserved liquid) and next 5 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened. Let stand 10 minutes.

2. Divide arugula among toasted bread slices (you may want to coarsely chop this as well if your leaves are large). Top each with cherry mixture and 1 bleu cheese slice.

*Manchego or goat cheese may be substituted.

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