One mason jar of 100 proof cherry moonshine, gorgeous sweet cherries, and these tender little summer butter beans inspired this cheesy crunchy amazing 2 bite appetizer!
Only recently did I jump on the hummus train, as I wasn't a bean fan until the last few years. Now, I enjoy chickpeas roasted for a snack in salads, soups, and of course, hummus smeared on Stacy's pita chips.
For my first homemade hummus I wanted to create something original, especially since it was going to hold beautiful moonshine spiked Bing cherries in place on my new bruschetta recipe. The potent juice from one of my liqueur tastings is a tart and sweet accompaniment to the fresh fruit!
I started with fresh summer butterbeans, not canned or frozen. I cooked them in chicken stock with onions and fresh herbs, so right from the beginning this dip is packed with flavor.
Instead of tahini, I toasted sesame seeds and walnuts and ground them together with the beans and onions to make a paste. From there, fresh oregano, garlic, zesty red pepper flakes, lemon juice to brighten it up and walnut oil instead of olive. I love the mild nutty taste. I like the hummus selections with oregano, pine nuts, and roasted red peppers so I wanted some of that complexity in mine.
I eat cherries by the handfuls in summer, but also love to cook and bake with them. Delicious in cookies Chocolate Ganache Coated Sugar Cookies With Cherry Sage Filling. And savory dishes like Pork Tenderloin With Bourbon Cherry Sauce And Violet Balsamic Onions and Smoked Turkey Horseradish Cheddar And Cherry Panini With Red Wine Rosemary Mayo!
Every season I play a mix and match game of what produce, cheese, meat, alcohol, herbs, and spices I have and decide what I want to combine into novel recipes. I thought the earthy dry texture of the butterbeans would be a beautiful contrast to juicy succulent Bing cherries. I try to let the fruit shine on its own as much as possible. Just a little saute in coconut oil then deglaze in cherry moonshine to bring out the natural sugars.
Now for that cheesy delicious cap. I always refer to my friends at Murray's for cheese recommendations. They have such a fantastic selection and so much knowledge! I describe what I'm cooking and they come up wiht the best cheese pairing. Estate Gouda with its dense, dry texture and nutty caremelly flavor has the perfect tang and meltability. Also, it would be a fabulous pizza cheese. With the fresh oregano, olive oil brushed crostini, and cheese, it smelled like I was baking a pie:)
You can use any crostini. Kroger sells this bake yourself loaf that I prefer. Slice, brush with olive oil, and toast on both sides...perfection!
The whole mini package is smooth, earthy, nutty, sweet, juicy, and spicy with oregano and red pepper flakes.
Ingredients For Hummus
1 cup fresh butterbeans cooked with chicken stock, onions, thyme, and rosemary
1/8 cup sesame seeds, toasted in a skillet over medium low heat until slightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted over medium low heat for about 8 to 10 minutes
1 garlic clove, minced
2 to 3 sprigs fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon walnut oil
Ingredients For Cherries
1 teaspoon coconut oil
16 cherry halves
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1/4 cup cherry moonshine
Ingredients For Bruschetta
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 - 10 inch loaf of French bread, sliced in 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices
16 thin slices of Estate Gouda cheese
Directions For Hummus
Place butter beans, sesame seeds, and walnuts into a food processor. Pulse a few times. Then blend into a paste. Add next 4 ingredients. Pulse until combined and the herb is chopped. Drizzle oil in while mixing continuously to a smooth texture.
Directions For Cherries
Heat coconut oil over medium heat. Saute cherries and thyme sprigs for about 5 minutes. Pour moonshine over and continue heating until alcohol evaporates. Remove from heat, take thyme out, and cool.
Directions For Bruschetta
Heat oven to 350. Slice bread into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Brush both sides with olive oil. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, turning half way through, until crisp and lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Spread hummus on each slice of bread. Top with 2 cherries and a slice of cheese. Gently press the cherries int the hummus to secure them. Heat under the broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly. Doesn't take long so watch carefully. Enjoy right away while the cheese is ooeey and gooeey :)