This post is exactly why I am loving participating in The Food Matters Project every Monday. If it wasn’t for Marcia over at Twenty by Sixty, I can guarantee you that I would not have combined Figs, Blue Cheese and Brussels sprouts together for an appetizer. Ever.
Bittman’s original recipe was “Baked Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts, Figs, and Blue Cheese” – you can see Marcia tackle it over here. To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled when I first saw this challenge. The recipe just didn’t sound appealing to me, as I’m not a big fan of fruit in my food and the idea of combining these ingredients in a baked pasta dish with a creamy blue cheese sauce just sounded too heavy. I wrestled with it for a couple of days and then it hit me how I could get it done—I could do it in the form of an appetizer!
With a little dinner party planned for Saturday night and no appetizer on the menu, I immediately envisioned mini toasts or crostini as a canvas for these unique and bold flavors. Fresh figs are amazing but not in season now where I live so I had to go with either dried figs or a fig spread. I always keep a jar of this unbelievable Organic Adriatic Fig Spread in my pantry so I chose that over dried figs.
Next came a spread of Saint Agur Blue Cheese, a French Blue Cheese that is not only super creamy but also not that salty and is the perfect complement to the sweetness of the fig spread. Finally, the Brussels Sprouts sauteed in both butter and olive oil with just a touch of salt and pepper.
The finished product is a mini toast with fig spread and blue cheese smear, topped with sautéed, shredded brussels sprouts and finished with a touch of freshly ground black pepper. A simple yet complex appetizer sure to wow your guests, keep your time in the kitchen to a minimum and only cost 1 Point Plus each.
To see what all the other Food Matters Projects members made this week, click here!
- I have seen the Adriatic Fig Spread at several stores but I buy mine at Whole Foods and it is privately labeled by Whole Foods Market. The ingredients are “Organic Figs, Organic Sugar, Water, Fruit Pectin”
- Mini toasts are so cute, crispy and perfect for appetizers and surprising low in Points Plus. I picked up a package at Whole Foods as well since I was there. They are usually in the Cheese section.
- If you can’t find Saint Agur Blue Cheese (it is pretty common), ask the Cheese monger for a creamy, balanced Blue Cheese that is not too salty and spreads easily.
- You might also like Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Shitake Mushrooms or Crispy Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
- ¾ pound Brussels Sprouts, ends trimmed and shredded with a knife
- 1 tablespoon pastured butter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 turns freshly ground black pepper plus more for serving
- 1 package Organic Mini Toasts (36 per package)
- 6 tablespoons Adriatic Fig Spread (approximately ½ teaspoon per mini toast)
- 4 ounces Saint Agur Blue Cheese
- Trim ends of Brussels sprouts. Thinly slice so they are "shredded". I don't recommend using the food processor for this as the food processor can over shred Brussels Sprouts. Set aside.
- Spread ½ teaspoon of Fig Spread on each mini toast. I only measured the first one and then eyeballed the rest.
- Next divide the blue cheese up among the mini toasts and spread.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add butter and oil.
- When melted, toss in Brussels sprouts, salt and 5 turns of black pepper. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Remove from heat and divide up among toasts. Finish with freshly ground pepper on each, serve and Enjoy!