This Baked Camembert appetizer is full of flavor and texture. The Camembert cheese is baked then topped with my unique Gorgonzola Hazelnut Cilantro Pesto. I garnished it with pomegranates seeds, hazelnuts and Gorgonzola crumbles. The pomegranates seeds add the perfect balance to the richness from the pesto and cheese. Serve it with your choice of crackers and bread. You can customize this dish by adding your favorite pesto.
I am looking forward to a brand new year full of creativity, inspiration, health and happiness. As I said before, I won’t make a new year’s resolution but I plan to further my food photography and styling skills as well as incorporate yoga into my life even more than I have.
This appetizer is best served right away so that the cheese stays nice and melted. Make sure to have everything prepped and ready to go before you bake the cheese. You may or may not want to add the extra gorgonzola as it adds a strong flavor to the dish.
- Camembert or Brie
- 1 to 2 Pomegranates – seeds removed
- 1/2 Cup Hazelnuts – toasted – roughly chopped
- 1/4 Cup Gorgonzola – crumbled – optional
- Gorgonzola Cilantro Pesto – recipe below
Gorgonzola Hazelnut Cilantro Pesto Recipe
- 1 Cup Hazelnuts (Filberts)
- 1/2 Cup Gorgonzola
- 2 Cups Cilantro – packed
- 1 Cloves Garlic
- 3/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
- 1/4 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt – or to taste ( taste it before you add the salt, some gorgonzola is saltier than others)
Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 – 14 minutes. In about 5 – 7 minutes stir the nuts so they toast evenly while also checking on the progress.
When hazelnuts are cool put in the center of a towel and pull corners of the towel together and roll hazelnuts around with some force till skins come loose. A small amount of skin will remain on the nuts and that is fine.
Sometimes I separate the ones that the skins didn’t come off and put them back in the oven for a few more minutes.
Measure everything and put into food processor or blender except olive oil, puree while slowly adding the oil.
Place the hot cheese onto a large bowl or plate and top with some pesto, pomegranate seeds, hazelnuts and gorgonzola. Add remaining pomegranate seeds, hazelnuts and gorgonzola all around the camembert or in a bowl served on the side. Serve with the remaining pesto, crackers, crostini or crusty bread.
Cilantro is an immune-booster that helps detoxify the body by loosening them from the tissue, binding to and pulling out toxins and heavy metals. It helps promote a healthy liver function and is an overall digestive aid. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory that may help symptoms of arthritis and joint pain. It also helps with insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar. It is rich in antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins (one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K) and dietary fiber.
Hazelnuts are one of the only tree nuts with folate that may help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and depression. They have a high concentration of oleic acid an omega-9 fatty acid that is known to prevent cancer, reduce blood pressure, prevent strokes and help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol that help prevent heart attacks. They are also rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium, the minerals help regulate blood pressure. Hazelnuts are one of the richest in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that promotes healthy skin, hair and nails. They are also packed with B vitamins that bring energy to your cells and increase the metabolism. They are one of the few nuts that contain vitamin A, which is great for your eyes and are also high in dietary fiber and minerals like manganese, selenium and zinc.
*People who are allergic to peanuts, macadamia nut and/or Brazil nut might also be allergic to hazelnuts.