I've mentioned it before, but I do work full time. When I say full, I mean 50 hours a week full, and none of that includes time for cooking and blog posts. I drink lots of coffee. I take vacation to clean my house. Somehow it all works out.
Until I hit a tipping point. Like, say, a 60 hour week. And a full weekend. With company for dinner. In fact, one of the few things I can count on in life is if I have a full weekend planned, work will go nuts. We do have folks over for dinner quite often even so. I like company. I like a full table. I'm just a lousy hostess sometimes. Okay, most of the time.
I hit a new low. After a long week, I got up at 6:30 am to run a 5k with the kid, off to her soccer game, farmers market, then we cleaned house and cooked dinner, had company over. I did the dishes between dinner and dessert, ate, and made everyone coffee. When I took the kid upstairs for bed before rejoining the adults ... the soft music, lying down, dark room, sleepy child snuggled up ...
Yeah, I fell asleep for an hour with a table full of guests.
At least the salad was good. Maybe even good enough to put up with the hostess.
Bleu Cheese Crostini and Roasted Fall Fruit Salad
2 anjou or bosc pears, sliced into eighths
1.5 cups red grapes, sliced in halves
2 tbs. olive oil
Eight slices of baguette
6 oz. Gorgonzola dolce, or mellow bleu cheese
1.5 cups Tokay or Muscat wine
1 small lemon, juice only
1/4 cup honey
1 tbs. walnut oil
3 cups arugula, or arugula and mixed greens
2 tbs. black walnut pieces
salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375. Toss the sliced fruit with the olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Divide the bleu cheese among the slices of baguette and place on another baking sheet. The bread tray should go closest to the top of the oven. Roast for about 15-20 minutes until everything is just a bit golden brown.
Put the wine, honey and lemon juice in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes until it is thick and syrupy enough to coat the back of a spoon.
For assembly, toss the greens with the walnut oil and divide among four plates. Top with the roasted fruit, placing and even amount of pears and grapes on each salad. Salt and pepper to taste. Add two slices of the bleu cheese crostini. Drizzle the wine syrup over the top and sprinkle on the black walnuts.
Don't fall asleep.