Do you guys know Roquefort? Am I going to need to go in the dark corners of the Internets to find out “how to explain Roquefort to non-French people and what to substitute for it?” My first guess would be blue cheese. You can tell that I looked for long. Yep, that’s how much I care about you reader. Or, it’s Saturday, I’m in a cooking mood, and I don’t want to spend an hour on weird Yahoo forums to find out if Roquefort is indeed sold on the American soil. I should know that by the way, if only for the 3 years I spent there. It goes to show Roquefort (or blue cheese) were never my first pick when it came to cheese. Oh, how wrong I was. This bread. Is. Just. Awesome. Trust me.
We have this tradition in France of making savory breads as appetizers, with grated cheese, ham or olives for instance. The point is: they usually take plain, if not bland, ingredients. It’s always okay, but never stunning. I can safely say that this bread on the opposite was pretty stunning. And I’m not stunned easily. I’m sure it’s because my expectations were very low. As Ellen once said, “Kids, lower your expectations.” And yes, your life will be a hell of a lot better with low expectations, because there’s nowhere to go but up! Throw in pears and walnuts to round up the deal, and your mind is ready to be blown.
Roquefort, pear and walnut bread
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Serves 4 to 6
- 2 pears
- 4 oz Roquefort, or blue cheese
- 1/3 cup walnut halves ( or 5 to 7 walnuts)
- 1 1/3 cup flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 tbsp butter (for pan)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a loaf pan, set aside. Peel and cube pears. Crumble blue cheese roughly.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour and baking powder.
3. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, oil, milk and salt for about 30 seconds with a hand mixer. Add mixture to the flour preparation, and stir until all the ingredients are incorporated, not more. Add pears, cheese and walnuts.
4. Pour batter in the buttered pan, cook for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and an inserted toothpick comes out with barely any crumbs. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Subsitute hazelnuts for walnuts if you wish.
- You can add 1/2 cup grated gruyere to the mixture (step 3.)
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for one day.
- This bread can be served as a main course, warm with a salad, or cubed as an appetizer.
Source: adapted from Marmiton.