Sweet pear and smokey gouda come together to make this a delicious toast you do not want to miss out on. This dish is quick and easy to make and can be prepared in 20 minutes or less. It is gluten free, vegetarian, and nut free.
Adding fruit to savory meals
I have said it before and I will say it again, I love to add fruit to savory dishes. I have always been a big fan of vegetables, but until the last year or two I did not have much in terms of fruit in my diet. I have always preferred crunchy, cheesy, and salty indulgences to sweet ones. You are much more likely to find me with a bag of potato chips in my hand than a cupcake. In the last few years, I have learned to love fruit and fruits now make up a large portion of my grocery list. For me, the trick has been pairing fruit with savory ingredients that balance out the sweetness.
Here, I take a sweet pear and match it up with creamy cream cheese and smokey gouda cheese. Add in a little thyme and you have a delicious combination you’ll be looking forward to all day.
Pairing fruits with cheeses
I have celiac disease, which means it is risky for me to eat food that has been prepared in a kitchen that uses gluten. This makes it difficult for me to eat food that has been prepared by my family and friends. As a result, I spend a lot of time at my house cooking meals for my family and friends. By now they have caught on that I often pair (pear?) fruit and cheese to make dishes that are both sweet and savory.
One of the questions I get asked the most is how I decide which fruits to pear with which cheeses. If I had to boil my thought process down to one rule, it would be this: the more tangy and acidic the fruit, the more mild and creamy the cheese. For example, I would pair a fruit like a yellow nectarine that has a tangy taste with something like brie or ricotta. For something like a pear with a milder taste, I would go for something nuttier and saltier, like smoked gouda.
Smoked gouda and pear toast
- 4 slices gluten free bread
- 1 pear
- 4 oz smoked gouda
- 2 tbsp cream cheese
- 1/4 tbsp thyme
- 1/4 tbsp coconut oil
- Slice pear and gouda into thin slices
- Heat the coconut oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook the pear slices for about 5 minutes per side, or until they develop a nice golden brown color
- Toast bread under the broiler. I generally use frozen bread right out of the freezer and 2 1/2 minutes is about the right amount of time for this. If your bread is not frozen, 1 1/2 minutes should be enough time.
- Flip the bread over and add cream cheese, smoked gouda, and pear slices in that order. Toast bread for another 2 additional minutes under the broiler
- Remove toast from the broiler and top with thyme
- If you are looking for a little extra crunch, try throwing some nuts on top of this dish.The types of nuts that are found in deserts, such as pecans and walnuts, go well with cooked fruit.
- If you are looking for an extra burst of flavor, there are multiple sauces that pair well with this dish. Make sure you use something with a thick consistency so that it does not run into the bread and make the bread soggy. If you are in the mood for something sweet, try throwing some honey on top. A balsamic reduction would also do well.
If you like the juxtaposition of sweet fruit and savory cheese, you might also want to check out my recipe for pineapple black bean quesadillas. In this recipe I pair a mild Monterey Jack with freshly cut pineapple.