There are several niches of dining. There’s restaurant dining. There’s “cooking yourself a nice meal” dining. There’s “I don’t care any more; I’m eating a whole box of still-frozen pizza snacks” dining. For me, however, there’s a whole other category of “supermarket” dining. This comes into play when I’m short on time and/or motivation, but I still want the experience of eating quality food.
In my experience, going out to lunch in high school often meant heading to the nearest supermarket and wandering through the aisles for what seemed like hours (especially to the store staff, I’m sure). I would walk up and down the prepared food sections, pick each thing up, and put it back down again. I would consider living just off yogurt, and then I would decide that I wanted something more substantial. I’d taste every free sample and circle back around again.
The winning formula almost invariably turned out to be bread, cheese, and some type of fruit, especially if I was sharing with others and could split the cost of buying in bulk. We would huddle on the sidewalk, tearing off pieces of bread and spreading goat cheese on top. If we were feeling particularly indulgent, we would use basil or olives as garnish.
Although this practice can be characterized in many ways—delectable, thrifty, satisfying—it is not exactly dignified. This recipe for apple and cheddar crostini takes the concept of the bread-and-cheese pig-out and makes it elegant enough for the snobbiest of folks. These mini, tart-like hors d’oeuvres garnished with thyme are truly addictive.
I chose cheddar for this recipe because you can use enough for it to melt in a satisfying manner without it overwhelming the apple in the process. If you experiment, I would suggest trying another flavorful but not-too-salty cheese, such as Monterey or pepper jack.
1. Slice baguette into thin slices, about 1/4” – 1/2”.
2. Slice apple and cheese into similarly thin slices, adjusting exact proportions to taste.
3. Layer a slice of cheese and a slice of apple onto each piece of bread, with the cheese under the apple. When it melts, it will act as a glue to keep the apple on top.
4. Garnish each crostino with thyme.
5. Place the crostini on a baking pan. To cook, either put in a toaster on a light setting or heat in an oven at 350 degrees for 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
1 French baguette, approximately 12”
2 Granny Smith apples
1 8 oz. package extra-sharp cheddar cheese
Thyme, to garnish