Banana Slug on a Log

By hardlikearmour
March 16, 2012
15 Comments


Author Notes: This is my Oregonian version of ants on a log. Oregon is the largest domestic producer of hazelnuts so instead of peanut butter I used hazelnut butter. I sprinkled the "logs" with some finely grated blue cheese "lichens." I topped it with a slice of yellow pear coated in a honey vinegar dressing to mimic a slimey banana slug. The result is a fun and tasty snack.hardlikearmour

Makes: lots

Ingredients

Hazelnut Butter (makes about 1 3/4 cups)

  • 1 pound roasted and salted hazelnuts
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil

Assembling the logs - each pear makes 14 to 16 logs

  • Blue cheese (I used Rogue River)
  • Bartlett pear
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • celery stalks - preferably the paler green but still large inner stalks
  • hazelnut butter

Directions

Hazelnut Butter (makes about 1 3/4 cups)

  1. Place hazelnuts in the work bowl of your food processor with the blade attachment. Pulse until the nuts are coarsely ground, then run the food processor until the oils start to release from the nuts, and the ground nuts start to adhere in clumps. Stop the processor and scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Drizzle the walnut oil evenly over the nuts. Process until a smoothish butter forms, stopping and scraping as needed. Transfer to a suitable container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. If you aren't lucky enough to have access to roasted salted hazelnuts you can start with raw ones. Roast the nuts at 325º F for 8 to 12 minutes, until they become fragrant and the skins start to split. Shake or stir the nuts every 3 to 4 minutes to promote even roasting. Allow the nuts to cool, then transfer them to a clean kitchen towel. Wrap them in the towel, and use the towel to rub the nuts to help remove most of the skins. Proceed with making the butter, tasting at the end and blending in salt to taste.

Assembling the logs - each pear makes 14 to 16 logs

  1. Put your blue cheese in the freezer for at least an hour before proceeding. Grate the cheese using a microplane into a small pile - you will only need a tablespoon or 2 of the grated cheese. If you have extra you can grate it over salads or roasted beets.
  2. Whisk the honey and vinegar together in a small bowl. Cut slabs of pear that are about 3/8th-inch thick. Cut the slabs into sticks, then toss them in the honey mixture to coat all sides.
  3. Clean and slice the celery stalks into about 3-inch slices. You want them to be slightly longer than the pear sticks, and you want an equal number of pear sticks and celery pieces. Remove a thin slice of celery lengthwise from the convex surface. This will help it to stay flat on the plate.
  4. Use a blunt knife to fill the concave side of the celery with the hazelnut butter, keeping the knife at about a 45º angle to leave some space in the center of the celery. Lightly sprinkle the grated blue cheese onto the hazelnut butter filled celery. Place a slice of pear skin side up into the hazelnut butter, lightly pressing it to adhere. Repeat. Devour!

More Great Recipes:
Fruit|Vegetable|Gluten-Free|Vegetarian|Snack

Reviews (15) Questions (0)

15 Comments

Fairmount_market March 17, 2012
I love locavore food humor. These do sound tasty.
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour March 17, 2012
Thanks, FM! I was a bit afraid the blue cheese would overpower the flavor of the hazelnuts, but it works beautifully with a fairly light dusting. You get a little punch from the cheese w/o being walloped by it.
 
aargersi March 16, 2012
This is awesome! Tasty, funny, what else could you ask for? I happen to have some hazlenuts :-)
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour March 16, 2012
Hazelnut butter is really yummy! It goes especially well with cherry amaretto jam :-)
 
meganvt01 March 16, 2012
This is adorable and delicious looking!
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour March 16, 2012
Thank you, megan!
 
mrslarkin March 16, 2012
What a tasty-looking snack! The frozen blue cheese is genius. This would be a great addition to an Earth Day menu. <br /> <br />How about using slices of banana for the pear? Perhaps the acidity of the vinegar would be enough to keep it from turning brown? Throw some bacon crumbles on there, and you'd have Slimey Elvis On A Log. :)
 
lapadia March 16, 2012
:) !!! <br />
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour March 16, 2012
I bet if you served them right away the banana would work out just fine! I love your Slimey Elvis idea - peanut butter, banana, and bacon - yum!
 
lapadia March 16, 2012
HLA!!! I love this slimey recipe :) dodododo
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour March 16, 2012
Thanks, lapadia! I had fun with it.
 
LE B. March 16, 2012
well hla, before this i just thought you were one of 52's most talented chefs. But now I see that you are probably also 52's chef with the sickest sense of humor..... <br />Ah yes, "The lifelike shine of slug slime." <br /> <br />When you finally do your cookbook (as someone with your talent should) I so hope you will change the name of this dish! (Maybe i'm overreacting, but it's the gardener in me!) <br />Anyway, a very inventive and regional-savvy response to this challenge!
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour March 16, 2012
I'm gonna have to stick with the name, but no worries, I have no plan on a cookbook! I thought the slime was a nice touch....
 
mrslarkin March 16, 2012
Wait, I thought I was the cook with the sickest sense of humor with my Barbecued Squirrel recipe. But sadly, looks like it's been removed from my archives, so now I guess I must pass the sick crown onto hla. :) <br />
 
Author Comment
hardlikearmour March 16, 2012
I think your squirrel still takes the cake!