Now that December is here and the holidays are officially in full swing, I’ve got food on my mind. From cookie exchanges to Christmas parties, there’s non-stop reasons to bake, cook, taste and enjoy so many tasty treats, starting with this Citrus and Fennel Crostini featuring one of Singletree Winery‘s new wine jellies.
Disclaimer: I received samples for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
In anticipation of the holiday season, Singletree Winery has created a line of four wine jellies including: Citrus Pinot Gris Wine Jelly with lemon and orange rind, Spiced Pinot Noir flavoured with cinnamon, clove and star anise, Hot Siggety spiced up with red chili, red pepper and Siegerrebe, and lastly, the Straight up Siegerrebe.
When asked if I’d be interested in creating a recipe using the wine jelly, a few ideas immediately came to mind. And, while I do have a sweet tooth on occasion, when it comes to Christmas, I’m all about the appetizers. In fact, if I could have a meal made up of just appetizers, that would be an ideal situation for me. I think it’s because, in my mind, if I’m just eating appetizers, then I don’t have to commit to any one thing or make any difficult decisions.
With a beautiful blend of lemon and orange, the Citrus Pinot Gris Wine Jelly immediately caught my attention. Upon tasting it, I was sure I’d found the perfect accompaniment to one of my latest obsessions, pickled fennel. Combining those two, along with seasonal pomegranate and some creamy brie cheese, this Citrus and Fennel Crostini is a holiday appetizer you won’t want to ignore.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Cup white wine vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 star anise
1 fennel bulb, fronds removed and reserved
Toppings and garnish:
175g brie cheese
1/4 Cup Singletree Winery Citrus Pinot Gris Wine Jelly
1/4 Cup pomegranate seeds
1 naval orange (zest only)
Preheat the oven to 375 °F
Slice the baguette into 1/4″ slices, then brush lightly with the olive oil and toast in the oven until lightly golden, about 8 – 10 minutes.
To pickle the fennel:
In a small saucepan, combine the white wine vinegar, salt, sugar and star anise. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. Quarter, then thinly slice the fennel bulb. Stir it into the cooled vinegar mixture and set aside.
*Note* Any leftover pickled fennel can be stored in a glass container in the fridge, to be used in other ways. It’s great on salads or as a topping on fish tacos.
To assemble the crostini:
Top each piece of the baguette with a thin slice of brie, followed by about 1/2 tsp of the Singletree Winery Citrus Pinot Gris Wine Jelly, 1 or 2 pieces of the pickled fennel, a few pomegranate seeds, fennel fronds and orange zest.