Happy Friday! You know what I love about Fridays in the winter? Warm, cozy happy hours. In fact, the first text I sent to a girlfriend at 7 o’clock this morning was, “Wanna come over for some wine tonight?” I guess I love happy hours any time of year. But in the winter, when nobody really wants to get dressed up to go out somewhere, it’s especially nice to just hang at the kitchen island with some cocktails and cozy bites. I love serving these Apple & Cheddar Crostini w/ Rosemary Honey, and boy do they ever disappear. They’re rustic and casual and, really, who can say no to apples and cheddar? Add some other fun condiments that you’d find on a cheese board and you’re in business.
These crostinis have everything I love about a good cheese board – rustic, crusty bread, aged cheese, crispy fresh fruit, stone ground mustard and raw honey. Stone ground mustard, also known as whole grain mustard, is one of my favorite cheese pairings. It’s thicker and less processed than regular mustard, and you can taste the coarse grains in it. You can use it as you would regular mustard on sandwiches or as part of a dip. I absolutely love it with a sharp, aged cheddar. It’s earthy flavor also goes really nicely with something a little sweet, like a small piece of fruit or a drizzle of honey. While Honeycrisp apples are still in season (or at least still available at our supermarket), they’re the ones I’m using on these Apple & Cheddar Crostini w/ Rosemary Honey.
I remember my sister a few years ago losing her mind over Honeycrisp apples, like they were the messiah of all apples. And they had better be, because they cost so much more than any other apple variety! I was skeptical, to say the least. Turns out, Honeycrisp apples are pretty damn good. I don’t know what they put in those things, but they’re as close to perfect as an apple can get – just the right balance of sweet and tart, and also super juicy and crisp. If you can’t find Honeycrisp apples, use McIntosh for these Apple & Cheddar Crostini w/ Rosemary Honey. They’ve got a similar sweet/tart balance, just not as crisp.
Speaking of crisp, be sure to toast the bread before you put the toppings on. Then it’s going under the broiler for a minute just to melt the cheese. If you don’t, the edges of the bread will be crisp but the middle will be soft. You want the crostini to be sturdy so it holds up to the toppings. The whole process takes no more than 10 minutes. And definitely find the most rustic bread you can. I love using multigrain bread with lots of seeds and “stuff”. If all else fails, use sourdough. You can never go wrong with sourdough.
The highs will be in the low 30s this weekend and the lows will be in the teens. I can’t wait for a nice bottle of red, a cozy sweater and these Apple & Cheddar Crostini w/ Rosemary Honey. Stay warm, wherever you are!
- 1/2 loaf rustic multigrain bread
- 4 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
- 1 Honeycrisp apple, cored and thinly sliced
- 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
Preheat oven to broil.
Combine the rosemary with the honey and let sit.
Slice bread into 1/2 inch thick slices and cut each slice in half, crosswise. Toast the bread on a medium setting. Remove from toaster and smear with mustard. Top with 2 slices of apple and some grated cheddar.
Place the crostini under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, watching closely to ensure it doesn’t burn. Remove from broiler and drizzle with rosemary honey. Garnish with additional fresh rosemary.