I've had in mind for some time now to pair ripe stone fruit with Comté cheese. It's one of the most popular gourmet French cheeses, originating from the Jura region of France. It's fruity with a hint of nutmeg, while still tasting mild. To balance the flavors, I added sun-dried tomatoes, marinated red onions and a drizzle of spicy mint chutney. The peaches were so ripe and juicy that there was no need to quickly blanch them as the skin peeled off very easily.
Over the weekend, we ordered take-out food from one of my favorite restaurants, Shalimar in Fremont. We had a lot of leftover naans, so I used them the next day to make the cheese appetizers. Nothing goes to waste in our home!
Servings: 32 appetizers
2 ripe white peaches
½ red onion, sliced
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
32 pieces sun-dried tomatoes
2 naans, slightly toasted
12 ounces Comté cheese, cut into 32 rectangles
½ cup spicy mint chutney (see tips)
16 fresh mint leaves, torn in half
In a small bowl, combine the red onions with honey, vinegar and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss well and set aside for about 15 minutes.
Using a paring knife, peel the peaches and cut each fruit into 8 thin wedges. Twist and gently remove the stones from the peaches. Cut each wedge in half.
Using a bread knife, cut the naans into 32 rectangles.
Layer a slice of Comté cheese on the toasted naan, top with a piece of sun-dried tomato, a piece of peach and the red onions.
Repeat until all the ingredients are used.
Garnish with fresh halved mint leaves.
Secure each cheese appetizer with a party pick.
Drizzle with spicy mint chutney.
Serve at room temperature.
How to make spicy mint chutney: In a mini-blender (or a regular blender if you don't have a mini), combine 1 roasted Serrano pepper (seeds and stem removed), 4 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint leaves, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 1 clove of pickled garlic, 4 tablespoons of plain yogurt and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add 4 tablespoons of water for a smoother flow. Pulse until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper. Voilà!
If you want to keep the French theme, you could use Gruyère cheese instead, or even a Munster.