It’s a Holiday weekend so I know many of you are scrambling to find some party friendly recipes to impress your family and friends. How about homemade grain free crackers topped with balsamic glazed pears a mustard cream sauce and goat cheese? Say yes, because these will knock your socks off and make you look like a rock star, especially since they are vegetarian, grain free, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free.

I found this recipe for grain free almond flour crackers on zenbellyblog.com and this is the base but its a great recipe to have in your back pocket for parties.

Some other options for topping these crackers:

  1. Smashed pea and olive oil puree with lemon zest and crumbled bacon
  2. Cashew Cream with chives and smoked salmon
  3. Store bought olive tapenade or Pate or Caponata with arugula tossed in balsamic vinaigrette
  4. Roasted Beets, orange zest, toasted pistachios and goat cheese

Make sure to check out my flavor combination pages to come up with some new and creative ideas for your menu this weekend. 

If you are dairy free you can omit the cheese in this recipe and replace it with some candied walnuts but if you are looking to splurge the goat cheese really sends it over the top. It might seem like a lot of steps and ingredients but it’s really simple and you can make all the components ahead of time and assemble when you are ready to serve.

Balsamic glazed Pears, Frisee, Mustard Cream & Brie Goat Cheese Appetizer

Grain Free- Refined Sugar Free – Corn Free – Gluten Free – Vegetarian

Makes about 24 pieces depending on what size cracker is used

Rosemary Almond Flour Crackers

Cracker recipe courtesy of http://www.zenbelly.com

  • 2 Cups Almond Flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 Tbl Fresh finely minced Rosemary
  • 2 Tbl Olive Oil
  • 2 Egg (pasture raised if possible)

Mustard Cream Sauce

  • 1/3 cup Raw Cashews soaked overnight in water
  • 3 Tbl Grain Mustard (gluten free or homemade)
  • 1 1/2 Tbl Dijon Mustard (gluten free or homemade)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tsp coconut nectar or honey or stevia to taste
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of fine sea salt

Topping Ingredients

  • 2 Firm (but ripe) Bosc Pear core removed and sliced into 1”x 1/4” match sticks
  • 1 Tbl Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbl Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tbl coconut nectar/maple syrup/ or honey
  • 2 Tbl fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves or 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 head (about 2 cups) frisee lettuce washed and cut crosswise into small bite size pieces
  • 4 oz goat brie cheese sliced in 1’‘ x 1 1/4’‘ pieces or soft goat cheese crumbled into small pieces*

*If you can’t eat cheese replace with candied or roasted salted walnuts

Instructions for the Crackers:

  1. Pre heat an oven to 325F
  2. In the bowl of a food processor (or a large bowl with a whisk) add the egg and olive oil and pulse (or whisk) to combine. Add the salt, almond flour, and rosemary and pulse or mix until a ball of dough is formed.
  3. Kneed it a few times to make sure everything is well incorporated. Place the dough in between two pieces of parchment paper and roll out with a rolling-pin until the dough is 1/8” thick. Cut into squares (2’‘x2’‘) with a pizza cutter and transfer to a parchment lined sheet pan.
  4. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until they are golden brown around the edges.

Instructions for the Mustard Cream:

  1. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews and add them in a high powder blender or a food processor along with the orange juice.
  2. Pulse/blend until a smooth cream is formed. If it’s becoming hard to blend add more oj or water a little bit at a time.
  3. Add the mustard, honey/stevia/coconut syrup, pepper, pinch of salt and blend until a smooth cream is created.
  4. Taste for seasoning and sweetness. Set aside.

Instructions for the Pears and Assembling :

  1. In a saute pan over medium heat add the olive oil. When the oil starts to shimmer add the sliced pears and sprinkle with the salt and thyme, and saute for 3-5 minutes or until they start to brown and crisp up around the edges.
  2. Deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar, orange juice, and drizzle the honey or coconut nectar over the pears. Cook for one minute then lower the heat to a simmer and stir and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the balsamic vinegar has reduced to a syrup and there is no liquid in the pan.
  3. Remove the pears from the pan and set aside in a bowl to cool.
  4. Right before assembling add the chopped frisee in  a bowl and start by spooning 3/4 of the mustard cream over and toss with tongs until the lettuce is well covered in the dressing adding more if needed.
  5. Lay the crackers out in an assembly line. Place a small handful of the dressed frisee on each cracker. Then add 3-4 slices of the sautéed pears over the lettuce and then top with a few small slices of brie or a few small pieces of crumbled goat cheese.

Optional to drizzle some additional mustard cream over the top.

Place on a serving platter and serve.

 

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