September is here and I think I speak for the majority when I say, thank god -Fall is finally approaching. But before food bloggers of the world start shoving pumpkin-based recipes down your throats, I’m kicking the season off with this apple, Brie, and rosemary caramelized onion crostini. Make this appetizer even more special by spending the day apple picking at a local orchard. It’ll make the unoaked Chardonnay that you pair with this dish all the more rewarding.
I love few things more than crostini. It’s beyond easy to put together, the options are endless, and it’s a consistent crowd-pleaser. I’ve made plenty of seasonal crostini appetizers, like this green apple & chèvre combo for Spring, but this one is a BANGER, people. Truly. I made a practice round that just had Brie, rosemary caramlized onions, and the apple. Amazing. BUT – a second attempt, where I added a splash of balsamic to the onions and a delicate drizzle of honey at as a finishing touch…mind-blowing. The honey and the balsamic mesh everything together in a way I didn’t fully expect.
The key to nailing the textures of each component is in the process of layering the steps in this recipe. The bread is toasty and chewy, the cheese is melty, the onions are warm and sticky, and the apple – crisp and juicy.
First, you’ll butter your freshly sliced baguette slices. The butter adds richness and keeps the center of the crostini soft and chewy, while the edges get crisp and crunchy. Toss them in the oven set to broil on high. This takes only a minute (or less depending on your oven!) so keep a watchful eye. Boom, take ’em out and you’ve officially got slices of crisp ‘n’ toasty crostini. Switch the oven to bake at a low temperature, around 200-250°F degrees. Then, put a piece of Brie on each of your crostini slices.
Because the crostini is going to hold some heat after being in the oven, and when the warm caramelized onions are added, you don’t need to completely melt it. You want it to be soft and gooey but still hold its shape. It’ll continue to slowly melt as you finish putting them together. Put a small li’l nest of your rosemary caramlized onions on top of the Brie. I included a dash of balsamic vinegar in the recipe below, but it’s optional. I think it adds a nice extra layer of flavor though. Lastly – a slice of honey crisp apple and a drizzle of clover honey.
I was given this 2018 Zolo from a friend – an unoaked Chardonnay from Mendoza, Argentina made with sustainably farmed grapes. You may be used to a French or Californian Chardonnay, but the Argentinian style is slightly different. This bottle is crisp, light, with high acidity and a hint of minerality. It still has the notorious apple and pear flavors of a Chardonnay without being overwhelmingly rich or buttery. If you favor Sauvignon Blanc over Chardonnay, this wine might the perfect bottle to bridge the gap.
Any Chardonnay would pair well with this recipe. An unoaked Argentinian version brings acidity and brightness that complements the honeycrisp apple. On the other hand, an oaked Chardonnay in a French or California style would play up the the buttery crostini and creamy Brie cheese. Up to you which way you want to lean for this pairing. As it goes, the best wine advice in any scenario – drink whichever wine you like!Print
This vegetarian appetizer is the perfect segue to Fall. With honey crisp apple, Brie cheese, caramelized onion with rosemary and balsamic – topped with a light drizzle of honey. Crispy, chewy, melty. Savory and sweet, it pairs perfectly with an unoaked Chardonnay.
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 honey crisp apple
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary ((plus extra for garnish, if desired))
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Brie cheese
- French baguette
- clover honey
- Slice onion into long thin pieces (julienne).
- Heat 2 tbsp of butter in a pan at medium.
- Add onion slices to pan, stirring occasionally. Do not stir so frequently that the onions don’t get a chance to brown, but don’t leave them idle too long that they burn.
- Add just the leaves of the rosemary sprig to the onions. Keep an eye on them and stir occasionally for about 20 minutes, or until they are fully caramelized.
- Turn oven broiler on high.
- Slice French baguette into roughly 1/4″ slices (thickness is up to you and your preferences).
- Swipe a small amount of butter onto each slice of baguette. Put in the oven to broil for just a minute. Time will depend on the oven, but keep a very close eye on the baguette slices – they can burn in a blink!
- Switch oven to bake at a low temperature, around 250 degrees.
- Slice chunks of Brie – roughly the size of the crostini. Put the Brie on the crostini slices and toss them back in the oven. The Brie only needs a few minutes to get soft and melty. You don’t want it to turn to liquid, so check on it every few minutes to make sure it doesn’t entirely loose its shape.
- Reminder to keep stirring those onions! Add a bit of balsamic vinegar as they’re finishing up – roughly a tablespoon will do. Are they caramelized yet? If they are, remove them from the pan and set aside – otherwise, let them keep going.
- Slice honey crisp apple – one per crostini.
- Remove crostini from the oven. Pile on some caramelized onion, place a slice of apple on top, and finally drizzle with some of the clover honey.
Caramelizing onions, browning crostini, and melting Brie all require a close eye – this recipe can’t be honed down to specific times because of the differences between people’s ovens, so be sure to keep an eye on everything you have going on while you’re making these!
Keywords: brie, crostini, apple, honeycrisp, caramelized onion, rosemary, balsamic, chardonnay, white wine, vegetarian wine pairing