PARTNER POST: Get ready to feed a holiday crowd with appetizer recipes paired perfectly with food-friendly Cavit wines.
Gather your family and friends and get cozy this winter with a bottle of wine and a batch of these caramelized shallot bites.
The weather is certainly proving that winter is here, and I’m thinking about enjoying this cold, brisk season to the fullest. One of the finest ways to take it all in, is to surround yourself with great conversation with friends and family, great wine and plenty of food.
Now my preference when it comes to wine, leans towards a crisp white wine, and as for red wines, well I am extremely picky. No, I’m not an expert on wine at any level (far from it), but I do know what I like. When I opened up a bottle of Cavit’s Select Red Blend, I was so excited to try it (especially since my kids have been out of school for a gazillion days). This red wine is not only smooth from start to finish, but it has just the right amount of a fruity hint that is pleasant, and yet a gorgeous Italian bold taste. I think I’m in love.
My recipe inspiration to pair with this collection of Cavit Wines, Select Red Blend and their Pinot Grigio, was the season itself, winter. I really wanted to compliment the bold flavor of the Select Red Blend wine, so I combined the flavors of tangy blue cheese and crispy pancetta into a lovely appetizer for Caramelized Shallot Tarts. I started these little bites with a flaky puff pastry, then topped them off with sauteed shallots, crispy pancetta and finished with crumbles of blue cheese and toasted walnuts. They are great for get togethers big and small and pair beautifully with any of Cavit Wine collection.
For another easy appetizer, try these lamb bites. Recipe here.
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 oz Pancetta, chopped
- 2 cups (about 12 - 15 large) Shallots, sliced
- 1 Puff Pastry sheet
- ½ cup Walnuts, roughly chopped and toasted
- 2 - 3 oz Blue Cheese crumbles
- In a large skillet, heat Olive Oil over medium heat. Add the chopped Pancetta and cook until crispy about 5 - 8 minutes. Remove the crispy Pancetta from pan (leaving the oil in pan), and set aside.
- Continuing to heat the oil, add the sliced Shallots to the pan and saute until soft and starting to turn golden, about 8 - 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add the crispy Pancetta back into the Shallots, and set aside.
- In a dry skillet, toast the chopped Walnuts for about 3 - 5 minutes or until just starting to color. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On a flour dusted work surface, carefully unfold the Puff Pastry and gently roll out to smooth out the folds. Cut into 2 inch squares and place on the parchment lined baking pan.
- Top off each pastry square with a tablespoon of the Shallot mixture, followed by a pinch of crumbled Blue Cheese and a few of the toasted Walnuts.
- Bake in the 425°F preheated oven for 10 - 12 minutes or until the edges of the pastry start to turn golden.
- Serve and enjoy!
You can easily freeze the tarts at the stage just before baking. Once ready to make, allow to thaw for about 30 - 45 minutes and bake as directed. You may need to add 2 - 3 minutes to the baking time.