Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Appetizer Up!

Last year for Thanksgiving I went overboard on appetizers. I had a cheese and cracker plate with three kinds of cheeses, fruit, veggies and dip, and nuts. All served about an hour before dinner. It was too much and too close to the actual meal to be filling up on fluff. So this year I thought I would come up with something simple and less filling. I found just the thing. There is a Blue Cheese-Walnut dip in the November issue of Everyday Food magazine that fits the bill perfectly. It puts a favorite cheese in the spotlight while being slightly different. The bonus was in its simplicity. Mix a few ingredients together and serve with crackers. I decided that (for research purposes) I needed to try this in advance to see if it needed anything.

Last night I made a micro-version of the dip. My choice for blue cheese though was my favorite- Gorgonzola. I made a couple of other minor changes as wll that I think only made the dip better. I toasted the walnuts called for- which was an excellent move, and I also added a little bit of fennel fronds to the mix. It was perfect, and it will be a fantastic appetizer for Thanksgiving Day. I will be serving it with whole-grain crackers and pear slices, and everyone will enjoy it. Here is the recipe below for you for quick reference. I will be doubling it myself, and yesterday as I was mixing it up, I thought that if you upped the gorgonzola quite a bit, you could actually form this into a ball and roll it in the chopped walnuts...if you're into the cheese-ball type of thing.

Gorgonzola-Walnut Dip

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted in a skillet
pinch of grey salt
black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Chill until ready to serve. Serve on garlic crostini or with crackers. An excellent accompaniement would be pear or apple slices. This dip can be prepared a day in advance.


Kalyn said...

I love the sound of this. Sounds like my favorite kind of research.

Erika said...

Kalyn, it is really good- even the second day. It does firm up in the fridge though, so I recommend pullin git out to come to room temperature if making ahead of time.