A super-simple hors d'oeuvre to showcase those gorgeous spring chive blossoms.
Serves a crowd
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1-2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus a little more if desired
1 good French baguette
2-3 chive blossoms (if available)
1. Put the mascarpone cheese in a medium bowl, and use a microplane to grate the garlic into it. You may want to only use 1 cIove if they are fat, put you'll likely want 2 if they are smaller. Add the salt and pepper and stir with a silicone-type spatula to combine.
2. Slice the baguette into rounds (I like to cut mine on the diagonal), about 1/2-inch thick. Spread each round with the garlic mascarpone and arrange them on a serving platter.
3. Snip or slice the chives into spears about 1/2-inch to 1-inch long, and scatter them over the baguette slices. Separate the chive blossoms into their small individual flowers, and sprinkle them over the baguette slices. If desired, grind a light sprinkling of black pepper over the slices before serving.
Chive blossoms taste like chives, but slightly more peppery/intense. When you look closely, you'll see that the big blossom growing atop the chive stem is actually made up of lots of little flowers. You can use your fingers to pull apart the individual tiny flowers to use in this recipe.
Unlike most chives, the chives stems that have blossoms on top are a little too fibrous and sturdy for this recipe. Use the more tender chives for this recipe, and save the fibrous stems to throw into a stock pot.
If chive blossoms aren't available, just omit them! This recipe will still look and taste great without them.
If you feel like spending just a little more time to make this even nicer, you can lightly toast the baguette slices and brush them with olive oil before smearing them with garlic mascarpone.
You can make the garlic mascarpone a day or two ahead of time. Store it covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.