Tag Archives: Appetizer

Blueberry-Peach Focaccia

25 Jul

1-1/3 cups warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees F)

1 pkg. active dry yeast

4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. sugar

3-1/4 to 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

tsp. kosher or coarse sea salt


cup fresh blueberries

Tbsp. sugar

tsp. vanilla

to 3 Tbsp. small fresh basil leaves (optional)

1.In a small bowl combine the warm water, yeast, 3 Tbsp. of the olive oil, and 1 tsp. sugar.

Let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly.

In a large bowl combine 3 cups of the flour and 1 tsp. of the salt. Add yeast mixture to flour mixture. Stir until combined. If necessary, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough.

Turn out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough that is nearly smooth but still slightly sticky (about 3 minutes).

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning once.

Cover. Let rise in a warm place until double in size (1 to 1-1/2 hours).

2.Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with parchment paper; lightly oil paper. Turn dough into prepared pan and gently press evenly into the pan. Loosely cover; let stand in a warm place while halving, pitting, and slicing peaches.

3.Arrange peaches and blueberries atop dough in pan. Sprinkle with 3 tbsp. sugar and the remaining 1 tsp. salt. In a small bowl stir together remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil and the vanilla. Drizzle over focaccia.

4.Bake about 30 minutes or until peaches are softened and bread is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with basil just before serving. Makes 24 servings.

Make-ahead: After placing dough in the oiled bowl, cover and chill dough up to 24 hours. Let dough stand at room temperature for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until the dough is double in size. Continue as directed in step 2.

Better Homes and Gardens, August, 2010

This is one of my favorite sweet snacks and/or desserts to bring to bigger get-togethers.  It’s both salty and sweet, light and fruity, soft and crunchy.   I also think it allows for some fun experimentation – you could substitute strawberries or raspberries for the blueberries, plums or plucots for the peaches.   You can get creative with the fruit arrangements.  And so far I’ve never served this to anyone who didn’t like it.  Perfect for hot summer block parties and cooler evening grill-outs.


Date, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Ball

27 Nov

1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled blue cheese

8 ounces light cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon lowfat buttermilk

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup minced parsley

2 1/2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

3 tablespoons minced dates

1 minced shallot

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Place first 3 ingredients in large bowl.  Beat with mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.  Add dates, shallots, lemon rind, salt and pepper.  Beat at medium speed until well blended.

2. Spoon cheese mixture onto a large sheet of plastic wrap.  Form into a ball using spatula.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight.

3. Combine parsley and walnuts in a shallow dish.  Unwrap and gently roll the cheese ball in nut mixture,  Place on serving plate.  Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.

Yield: 14 servings

Cooking Light, November 2010

I made this one for a Thanksgiving appetizer and everyone loved it.  The dates add a nice holiday flavor and the nuts give it a nice texture.  The cream cheese and dates cut the funkiness of the blue cheese for a well-rounded flavor.