An Apology To Bread

An Apology To Bread

Oh, bread. I am so sorry, I feel like we as a species owe you an apology. You have been with us for so long, and now we have taken you for granted. Not only taken you for granted, we are turning our backs on you. Joyful exclamations renouncing bread and carbohydrates are being bandied about. The virtues of removing gluten from lives are being extolled. It is not a great time to be a loaf of bread.

I, however, cannot turn my back on this culinary staple.  This fundamental building block of my meals, my days, my life.  Who else will so lovingly encase cheese and meat and leaves of lettuce in a sandwich?  Who else will hold butter, garlic, and an array of herbs to accompany our spaghetti and meatballs?  Who else will sop up our soup after we have eaten all of the chunky pieces? 

Pictured: No-Fuss Garlic Bread

But it is so much more than an accompaniment and a helper. It is the backdrop on which to experiment with flavors.

Pictured: Easy Banana Bread

Bread, the fundamental ingredient in crostini and tartines, becomes a culinary canvas, letting you play around with ingredients, finding those combinations that make you want to become a missionary going door-to-door and urging people to try this delicious creation resting in your hand.  As with all experimentation, the failures are as useful as the successes.  Guiding you toward the path of discovery.

Pictured: The Best Pumpkin Bread

So here I am, offering bread an edible apology.  A crostini with slices of baguette, a goat cheese/cream cheese mixture, black pepper, thyme, honeycrisp apple slices, pomegranate arils, honey, and clementine juice.  I truly hope bread accepts.

RECIPE: Crostini with Honeycrisp Apple, Thyme, Pomegranate, and Goat Cheese

1 baguette, sliced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces cold goat cheese
4 ounces cold cream cheese
honeycrisp apple, sliced
sprigs of thyme
pomegranate arils
drizzle of honey
drizzle of juice from a clementine

Heat oven to 375.  Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet (I use a Silpat or parchment paper to line mine).  Pour the olive oil in a bowl, and brush the oil on each slice.  Sprinkle a bit of kosher salt and black pepper on each.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden-brown.

Using an electric mixer, beat the goat cheese and the cream cheese together. 

Spread the goat cheese mixture on each baguette.  Then place slices of apple on top, followed by a spoonful of pomegranate arils.  Sprinkle a few leaves of thyme on each crostini, as well as some more freshly ground black pepper.  Drizzle a bit of honey over each, and finish with a squeeze of juice from a clementine.

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