Ultimate Autumn Spread
Anyone can unwrap cheese, but you, you! can whip up delicious baked robiola cheese, super savory homemade country pate, and spicy addictive pear mustardo. Long after guests are gone, you’ll be snacking from the fridge on your creations. Join us for the ultimate autumn charcuterie spread!
Anyone can unwrap cheese, but you, you! can whip up delicious baked robiola cheese, super savory homemade country pate, and spicy addictive pear mustardo. Long after guests are gone, you’ll be snacking from the fridge on your creations.
Baked Robiola :
- 1 Robiola cheese (about 8-10 ounces)
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1-2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme (or both)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste La Panzanella Croccatini
- 4 ripe but firm pears (Bartlett or Bosc work well)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
- 1-2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes (adjust to your desired level of spiciness)
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Pinch of salt
Tuscan Country Pate :
- 1 pound (450g) ground pork
- 1/2 pound (225g) ground chicken or turkey
- 1/2 cup diced pancetta or bacon
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage (or 1 tablespoon dried sage)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (approximately)
- 2 eggs
- Butter or oil, for greasing the pan
- Prepare the Robiola: Remove the Robiola cheese from its packaging and place it in an oven-safe baking dish or a small cast-iron skillet. If you prefer, you can leave the cheese wrapped in its paper or remove it for a rustic appearance.
- Season the Cheese: Sprinkle the minced garlic evenly over the top of the Robiola cheese. Drizzle the olive oil over the cheese as well. Season with a pinch of salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
- Add Herbs: Lay the fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs on top of the cheese. These herbs will infuse the cheese with their aromatic flavors as it bakes.
- Bake: Place the baking dish or skillet with the Robiola in the preheated oven. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is soft and gooey inside. Keep an eye on it to prevent overcooking; you want it to be melted and creamy but not too runny.
- Serve: Carefully remove the baked Robiola from the oven. Be cautious when handling the hot dish. Allow it to cool slightly for a minute or two before serving.
- Garnish: Optionally, garnish the dish with a few extra fresh herbs or a drizzle of honey for added flavor and presentation.
- Prepare the Pears: Peel, core, and dice the pears into small, evenly sized pieces. You want them to be about 1/2-inch in size. Toss the diced pears with lemon juice to prevent browning, and set them aside.
- Toast the Mustard Seeds: In a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, toast the mustard seeds until they become fragrant. This should take about 2-3 minutes. Keep the seeds moving to prevent burning. Once toasted, remove them from the heat and set aside. Cook the Pears: In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the diced pears, sugar, white wine vinegar, toasted mustard seeds, dried red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt. Stir everything together to combine.
- Simmer: Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, uncovered, for about 45-60 minutes, or until the pears become soft and translucent, and the mixture thickens to a syrupy consistency. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and burning. You may need to adjust the cooking time based on the ripeness of your pears.
- Cool and Store: Once the pear mostarda reaches your desired consistency, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool completely. It will continue to thicken as it cools. Transfer the pear mostarda to sterilized jars or airtight containers and seal them.
Pear mostarda is best when it’s allowed to age for a few days or even weeks in the refrigerator. The flavors will mellow and meld together over time.
Tuscan Country Pate:
- Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Cook the Pancetta: In a skillet over medium heat, cook the diced pancetta or bacon until it becomes crispy and the fat is rendered, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the cooked pancetta with a slotted spoon and set it aside, leaving the rendered fat in the skillet.
- In the same skillet with the pancetta fat, add the finely chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add the ground pork and ground chicken (or turkey) to the skillet. Cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until it’s browned and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
- Pour in the white wine and stir to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Allow the wine to simmer for a few minutes until it reduces by half. Add Herbs and Nuts: Stir in the chopped fresh parsley, sage, rosemary, and pine nuts (if using). Season with salt and black pepper. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
- Transfer the meat mixture to a large mixing bowl. Let it cool slightly. Then, add the cooked pancetta, breadcrumbs, and eggs. Mix everything together until well combined. The breadcrumbs help bind the mixture; you may need more or less depending on the consistency.
- Grease a loaf pan or terrine mold with butter or oil. Transfer the meat mixture into the pan, pressing it down firmly to eliminate air pockets. Smooth the top.
- Bake: Cover the loaf pan with aluminum foil and place it in the preheated oven. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the pâté is cooked through and has an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C). Allow the Tuscan country pâté to cool to room temperature in the pan. Then, refrigerate it for at least a few hours or overnight. This helps the flavors meld and the pâté to firm up.