Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday weekend! I can barely believe that it’s already the figurative halfway mark through summer. Where did June go?!
To celebrate the Fourth at work, we had a potluck last week. While browsing a few recipes online, my coworker started reading old recipes from Sauce Magazine and one in particular caught her eye. – the next Eating Through St. Louis recipe was born!
I didn’t live in St. Louis when The Pitted Olive was alive and well. It closed just shy of their 3 year anniversary in 2008, much to the dismay of local residents. In recent discussion about the Olive, everyone that visited had nothing but positive things to say – my coworker raved about it and it received high accolades on Twitter. It made me sad that I’ll never have the opportunity to try such a beloved restaurant.
That said, Chef Mike Holmes really hit the nail on the head with this crostini appetizer. The combination of sweet and tangy is out of this world and leaves you wanting more…and more…and more. Good thing these are bite-sized!
Blue Cheese and Honeycomb (click for recipe!)
I’ll be honest – I had no idea one could eat honeycomb before this recipe. And holy moly, was it difficult to find. Well, to be honest, it wouldn’t have been all that difficult if I hadn’t completely forgotten to buy it, walking out with $40 worth of groceries except the one thing I needed!
Ahem…let me get back on track. I tweeted that I was looking for honeycomb and Local Harvest tweeted back immediately, letting me know that they carried a local variety from Stinger’s Honey in Clayton. Perfect! I stopped there the day before I needed it and lo-and-behold, walked out with everything under the sun except…you guessed it…honeycomb.
I realized this on the way home, and made a quick detour to the Maplewood Farmer’s Market, where the honey provider told me they weren’t selling any honeycomb this year.
So I called Trader Joe’s. Whole Foods. Dierberg’s. Schnucks. Green Earth Grocery. Township Grocer.
Whole Foods carried some but it wasn’t local and I was already 30 minutes away. Green Earth carried some for $26. Yeah…no.
Thankfully, my gracious coworker, the one who suggested I make this for the potluck, said she would run by Local Harvest and pick some up. She saved the day! And thank goodness she did because this appetizer was a hit with my coworkers!
I started with a Companion French loaf, sliced with my favorite non-bread knife.
The only other ingredients needed were blue cheese, honeycomb, truffle oil (I used olive), and a raspberry garnish. Simple!
I wasn’t sure what to make of honeycomb. I had no clue if it would be hard to cut, super sticky, full or completely devoid of honey…turns out, the honeycomb we purchased was a nice-sized block with a bit of honey throughout. The wax was incredibly soft and cut easily with only a fork.
I strayed from the recipe a bit, so please click the above link to see the original intent. I was somewhat limited in space and time at the potluck, but the dish worked.
I brushed the bread with olive oil and lightly toasted it, about 5 minutes. I took the bread out, crumbled blue cheese on top (a generous amount) and put back in the oven to melt, about 5 more minutes. I took them out, leaving them on the warm pan while I placed a piece of honeycomb on top of each one.
I garnished with a raspberry.
The recipe states to use two pieces of bread with blue cheese, and just the one piece of honeycomb on top and I can see why, as the honey almost took over the entire piece! That said, this was fantastic – a combination of flavor I never would have expected but loved every second it was in my mouth.
The best part was that all my coworkers loved it too! It was funny, you could hear people quietly saying “blue cheese and honey? hmmm” but as they tried one, that “hmmm” turned to “you must try this!”
I recreated the appetizer at home, and Matt fell in love with it too. I served it alongside extra pieces of bread with mozzarella melted on top and a dash of basil.
You can’t ask for much more than this.
I’m so grateful to my coworker for letting me try a piece of The Pitted Olive, almost three years after its closing. Maybe someday I’ll be lucky enough to try another Chef Holmes creation.
Special thanks to Local Harvest for providing me with Stinger’s honeycomb, Companion bread, and organic raspberries!
And thanks to you, as always, for reading!
Previous STL Restaurant Recipes:
Farmhaus Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf