Recipe Creator: Zimmy's Nook
These festive appetizers are simple, full of flavour, and perfect for holiday entertaining. Bothwell's Red Wine Cheddar pairs perfectly with tart cherries, earthly walnuts, sweet honey, and rosemary. Whether enjoyed with the crunch of a crispy crostini or the freshness o an endive leaf, these bite-size appetizers will impress your guests.
- 170g (6 oz) block of Bothwell Red Wine Old Cheddar, divided
- ½ a baguette or ciabatta loaf, cut into ½ inch round slices (12 or more slices)
- 2 endives, medium leaves, washed and dried (12 leaves)
- 2 oz walnut pieces (1/2 cup)
- 2 oz dried tart cherries (1/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoons liquid honey
- 2 tablespoons rosemary leaves, removed from the stem
- 1 ¼ cup sugar, divided
Make the candied rosemary ahead of time (2 to 48 hours before using)
- In a small saucepan, combine the rosemary with 1 cup of cold water. Bring to a boil. Once fully boiling, drain the rosemary through a mesh strainer. Repeat this process two more times.
- Measure 1 cup of the sugar into the pan and add ½ cup of water, whisk over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar is dissolved add the rosemary leaves and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered, until the rosemary leaves are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the rosemary leaves and let them cool.
- Add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar into a medium bowl and add the rosemary leaves. Toss to coat, separating the leaves as you toss. Once all the rosemary leaves are coated, remove the individual leaves from the sugar and shake off the excess sugar. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
Prepare the Crostini & Endive Boats
- Divide the cheese into 2 pieces (approximately 60/40). Grate the smaller piece into a small bowl. Slice the larger piece into the same number of slices as pieces of bread (12+), then cut each slice in half. Set aside.
- Place the walnut pieces in a small skillet and roast over medium heat until lightly toasted and fragrant, 3 – 5 minutes, tossing occasionally.
- Toast the bread rounds (in an oven, toaster, toaster oven or grill) until lightly browned.
- Layer each toasted bread round with one slice (2 halves) of cheese. Sprinkle each endive boat with a spoonful of cheese. Then top each bread round and endive boat with toasted walnuts, dried cherries, a drizzle of honey and finish with a few candied rosemary leaves.
- Serve and enjoy!