Aside from its ease, my favorite part of making this Pear and Goat Cheese Appetizer is the fragrance of the honey and balsamic as it hits the hot dish.
Don’t get in a hurry, be ready to savor the aroma with the first drop.
This appetizer is so easy to put together, it hardly requires a recipe, but I’ve provided one as a guide for oven temp and timing.
The measurements are approximate—in my opinion, more goat cheese is always better—so use your eyes more than your scale. Serve with gluten-free crackers or crusty bread for special dinners, parties, or any excuse to nosh and linger.
An Easy Date Night Appetizer
It was Valentine’s Day, and instead of wrangling a reservation in a cramped restaurant we spent time planning a menu, shopping, and cooking together. Maple Lacquered Duck Breast was our main course, so we wanted a starter that was easy, yet elegant.
We were in search of fresh figs for our appetizer which were woefully out of season in February. It’s hard to beat the enchantment of figs for indulging in simple pleasures. But alas, there were no figs.
Pear is an Excellent Substitute for Figs
Pear is similar to figs in their voluptuous shape and uniquely textured flesh, but more widely available and easier to budget. While figs may seem more romantic, the humble pear can certainly work its own magic.
Pour a glass of white Bordeaux and enjoy a supple, ripened pear from the hand of your sweetheart … well, you get the idea.
For this appetizer, you won’t want the pear to be as ripe as one you’d eat out of hand. Rather, choose one more firm to the touch and let the heat of the oven soften and sweeten it.
Like fresh figs, heat softens and concentrates the flavor of pears, creating a mild canvas for sweet or savory dishes. Warmed pears complement any cheese with a little spunk—goat cheese, Blue cheese, or semi-soft, raw milk cheese is best.
Here, the tangy-sweet balance of goat cheese and pear is delicious warm or cooled (we continued to enjoy it with dinner).
Got oodles of pears? Try your hand making this Hard Pear Cider!
Pear & Goat Cheese Appetizer
- 1 firm red pear (such as Red Anjou, Red Bartlett, or Starkrimson)
- 3 ounces goat cheese (chevre)
- walnut pieces (for garnish)
- honey (for garnish)
- aged balsamic (for garnish)
- Heat oven to 375°F. Slice pear and arrange on an oven-safe platter or plate. Dot with goat cheese. Sprinkle walnut pieces over the pear and goat cheese.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is lightly browned in spots. Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey and balsamic, as desired.
More Easy, Elegant Appetizer Recipes:
Shrimp & Prosciutto with Smoky Honey-Mustard Sauce
20 Healthy Holiday Party Appetizers
Prosciutto-Wrapped Caprese Salad
7 Tips for Hosting a Wine & Cheese Party
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Stacey Crawford says
I love the combination of the pears with goat cheese & walnuts! So yummy!
Kari - Get Inspired Everyday! says
I love how simple this is, and it’s definitely very elegant, can’t wait to add it to our next date night!
Jennifer Fisher says
Pears and goat cheese, such a delicious combo — my favorite in fact!
I was expecting this to be on crostini or something I can’t eat but I love that you can just serve it as is! So simple and elegant. I love all these flavors together so I am definitely trying this. Maybe even with blue cheese, too!
Judy Purcell says
Oh yeah, blue cheese is great with it too!
So easy to make and so good!
Heather H says
I could eat the everyday, the flavors are such a perfect pairing!
Looks delicious and so easy to put together!
This looks so good! Simple, yet elegant and I bet my kids will love it too.
Emily Kemp says
This sounds so simple and delicious, goats cheese and pear are the perfect combination!
So simple and easy! Love it.
This is my kind of appetizer…simple, healthy and delicious! Great combination of flavors Judy! Thanks!
Totally agree they look elegant and definitely delicious. Love the simplicity here,a good dish to serve when you are very busy.
Cecile @ My Yellow Farmhouse says
This look fabulous – I love the presentation. I can’t wait to make this!! ‘Pinning’ it, of course!!
John@Kitchen Riffs says
Wow, this looks terrific! Great dish, wonderful photos. Thanks.
Forget being an appetizer, this could be a meal for me. Wonderful idea and great combination of flavours.
Have a wonderful day.
🙂 Mandy xo
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says
That’s an appetizer I would be eager to get my fingers in.