Crostini with Truffled Cheese, Lentils Du Puy and Apples – Recipe

Bruschetta Truffle Cheese Lentils Apples
Crostini with Truffled Cheese, Lentils Du Puy and Apple

This was the first course of a little dinner party I threw together for some friends a few weeks ago. It is really easy to make, and you could easily prepare the lentils the day before and then just warm them up when you are ready to serve. The apples provide a sweet, fresh counterpoint to the earthy flavors of the truffle and lentils.

There are a number of truffled cheeses on the market; a good cheesemonger will usually have one or two. For this dish, look for a semi-soft sheep’s milk cheese that will melt well.

The lentils should be either lentils du Puy or black lentils. Both of these varieties hold onto their shape when tender. Plain brown lentils won’t work as well. Getting the right texture on the lentils at serving time is crucial to making this delicious. You want them to be neither dry and mealy nor unpleasantly wet. Stirring in a little more olive oil at the last minute is a big help.

Don’t be fooled by the picture – that isn’t the ideal bread to serve this on! I was hampered by the lack of a proper bread knife in the kitchen I was using; it would only crush this baguette when I tried to cut it so I had to improvise by cutting horizontally.

Crostini with Truffled Cheese, Lentils Du Puy and Apples
Vegetarian / Makes 8 crostini

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup lentils du Puy
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 8 small slices of crusty bread
  • more extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
  • 8 slices semi-soft truffled sheep’s milk cheese
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and finely diced
  • 1 big handful spicy microgreens of your choice (or chervil would work)
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the garlic for 1 minute. Add the lentils and Kosher salt along with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally until tender but not falling apart. Add more water if needed. Drain and cool to room temperature. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  2. Brush the bread generously with olive oil on both sides and toast both sides until well browned on a grill or in a toaster oven, or under the broiler. Cover with the cheese and keep toasting until melted.
  3. If the lentils seem a bit dry, stir in some more fruity olive oil.
  4. Top each crostini with a spoonful of lentils. Don’t pile them so high that it will be too hard to eat. Add a smaller spoonful of apples and a little pinch of the microgreens, and serve.

 

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Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, February 28th, 2011 in Appetizers, Recipes.

12 Responses to “Crostini with Truffled Cheese, Lentils Du Puy and Apples – Recipe”

  1. February 28, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    i was anxiously awaiting your next post. :) this looks fantastic and a very forgiving recipe, i imagine? Thanks for sharing. One day i’m going to fly over there and crash your dinner party… haha.

  2. Gina
    February 28, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    dang girl

  3. March 1, 2011 at 1:03 am #

    It gives me the munchies :-), but is the apple necessary?

    ciao
    Alessandra

  4. John
    March 1, 2011 at 5:10 am #

    This is one of those dishes where the TYPE of apple could really make a difference. I tend to favorthe more “sour” varieties like Granny Smith or Macintosh for most things, but for this recipe, I think I might actually go with a Gala or even a Delicious, esp. if I added a little vinegar to the water for cooking the lentils, or if the microgreens were tossed in a little vinaigrette. What did YOU actually use, Michael? [This is a pet peeve of mine -- folks specify that the garlic has to be grown from seed on the northeast side of the garden in the shade of a full-grown rosemary plant, or that the oil has to be triple-pressed, or that the cheesmaker can only wear paper sandals while preparing the goat's milk for the cheese, and then they say "add one apple." Grrhmmmph. But perhaps I'm exaggerating a trifle.]

  5. Michael Natkin
    March 1, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    It is a very fair point! I'm pretty sure I used a Pink Lady.

  6. March 1, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    That is RIGHT up my alley. Though I’ve been fighting with and editor who called Lentils du Puy “too esoteric”. I see them everywhere, and apparently you do too, so there! This really does look great! How did you get the bread to make that little boat shape? Did you scoop out some of the crumb?

  7. Michael Natkin
    March 1, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    Yeah, I don't think lentils du Puy are too hard to find at this point, at least on the coasts or the web. I think in a lot of cases, black lentils would be a decent substitute. A little different, but offering some of the same positives. The bread was an "American Baguette" from PastaWorks on Hawthorne, and that is just sort of what it looked like after I hacked at it with the rather deficient bread knife I had access to at that moment! Delicious baguette though.

  8. amalie
    March 3, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    o.m.g! My heart just sort of skipped a beat. Its just such a beautiful combination of something that reads like poetry and sounds so good mmmm. Cannot wait to try and THANK YOU for getting me hooked.

  9. March 3, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    This looks incredible delicious… loving this combo of flavors!!

    Great blog; happy I found you!

    Mary xx
    Delightful Bitefuls

  10. March 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    Hmn…. I think you can find lentils du Puy at most gourmet grocery stores. I’ve even seen them here, in the wilds of Florida. My issue is that I don’t think I could wait to eat the truffle cheese in order to make the recipe. One of my favorite cheeses of all time!

  11. John
    March 7, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    I made this tonight for the family. Everyone loved it. The universal complaint, put best by my daughter, was “I really like this, but it’s hard to eat without spewing it all over the place.” I think this might work better with a bread a little softer (and wider) than a baguette. But the flavor and texture mix was excellent, and this’ll definitely go on our “frequent use” list. (I couldn’t find a truffled sheep’s milk cheese, so I tried a goat’s milk one, and a Greek sheeps-milk cheese where I added some porcini-flavored olive oil instead of having the truffle flavor in the cheese. Both were not particularly soft cheeses, but both worked really well.

    BTW: small typo: 8 sliced semi-soft -> 8 slices semi-soft.

  12. Michael Natkin
    March 7, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    Mmm. porcini oil sounds like an excellent alternative. Glad you guys liked it! It is true, it is a bit of a messy bite. Another way to do it is serve it on larger piece of a country style bread and eat it with knife and fork.

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