Herbed Cheese with Pears, Pine Nuts, and Honey
Cheese drizzled with honey is a traditional Mediterranean appetizer; when mixed with fruit and nuts, it makes a tantalizing dessert.
- 8 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 6 ounces fresh goat cheese, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 ripe but firm Bartlett pears
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons flavorful honey, such as buckwheat, chestnut, or leatherwood
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place ricotta in a fine sieve set over a bowl; let excess liquid drain, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, spread nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in oven until lightly browned, tossing occasionally, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate; let cool.
In a food processor or medium bowl, mix together goat cheese and drained ricotta until creamy and thoroughly combined. Stir in thyme, parsley, and lemon zest; set aside.
Slice each pear into six wedges. Divide herbed cheese among four serving plates, spooning it into mounds. Arrange three pear wedges next to cheese on each plate. Sprinkle with nuts; drizzle about 2 teaspoons honey over each portion of cheese and pears. Serve immediately.