Pear, Bacon, and Sage Crostini with Ricotta Cheese

This simple appetizer is a study in contrasts and harmony: roasting intensifies pear’s flavor and highlights the fruit’s natural sugars, which contrasts beautifully with salty, savory bacon and mild, creamy ricotta.

Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 1 (12-ounce) baguette, cut diagonally into 36 slices
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 9 slices uncured bacon, each cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 medium firm pears, halved, cored and each cut into 24 slices
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 36 medium fresh sage leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Place the bread in a single layer on a large shallow baking sheet and brush the top with 4 teaspoons of the oil. Bake until crisp, about 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
  3. Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 7-8 minutes, turning once. Transfer to a plate covered with paper towel and drain.
  4. Increase the oven temperature to 450°F. Toss the pear slices with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and salt. Arrange in a single layer on 2 large shallow baking sheets that have been lightly oil. Place one baking sheet in the oven and roast pear slices until tender, 9-10 minutes. Repeat with remaining baking sheet. Cool.
  5. Heat the canola oil in a small skillet over medium until very hot but not smoking. Add several sage leaves at a time and cook 5-10 seconds until crisp. Immediately transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and repeat with remaining sage leaves.
  6. To assemble, spread ricotta over the top of each toasted bread. Top with a slice of pear, a piece of bacon and a second slice of pear. Place a small dollop of ricotta one end, top with the sage leaves and serve.