This simple appetizer of fresh pears, creamy brie cheese and a hint of crushed fennel are a wonderful, gluten-free stand-in for crostini.
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 2 firm-ripe pears
- 1 (8-ounce) wheel Brie cheese, cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
- Honey, for drizzling
- Freshly cracked black pepper
Place fennel seeds in a dry sauté pan over medium heat. Toast, shaking the pan frequently, until seeds are fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Lightly crush seeds and set aside.
Starting at the bottom, slice pears crosswise 1/4-inch-thick. Using a pairing knife, core each slice.
Place pears on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Top each pear with a wedge of cheese. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with fennel and black pepper. Place under the broiler until cheese just starts to melt, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and transfer pears to a serving platter. Serve immediately.