I have to admit the combination of walnuts and sage was foreign to me until my trip to Italy last summer. Fresh sage, sauteed or fried and gnocchi or fresh pasta drowned in walnut and cheese sauces seemed to be everywhere. This crostini marries the two perfectly. A crunchy crostini with a creamy walnut cheese sauce topped with fried sage crumbles is a new found love. Whether you pair these as an appetizer with a crisp white wine or serve them along side a great salad, you will be hooked.
A note about Gorgonzola: There were two gorgonzola options at my grocery store... Gorgonzola Dolce and Mountain Gorgonzola. Gorgonzola Dolce is creamy and a tad more mild than Mountain Gorgonzola. While any variety will work great, I found this to be the best option. —LittleKitchen
Test Kitchen Notes
Walnuts and sage round out the richness of this gorgonzola based crostini. A little salty, a little creamy and a lot delicious. Feel free to add a dollop of honey or maple syrup for a kiss of sweetness. And don't be surprised if you find yourself filling up on these and skipping dinner. —favabean
Combine gorgonzola, cream, walnuts and parmesan in a medium sized bowl. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon until a creamy spread forms.
Pour olive oil into a heavy saute pan, about a 1/4 inch full. Heat over medium high heat, but not smoking. Place sage leaves in oil and fry on each side about two to three minutes. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat until all sage leaves have been fried. Once cooled, crumble fried sage leaves.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place ciabatta slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 5 to 10 minutes.
Slice garlic in half. Rub each slice of crostini with garlic. Spread a layer of gorgonzola walnut mixture on to each crostini. Sprinkle the top of each crostini with fried sage leaves and serve.
Gorgonzola walnut mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.