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Vegetarian substitution for pear/pancetta appetizer

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I'm having a cocktail party later this month, and one of the appetizers is basically a pear slice topped with crisped pancetta, goat cheese, and a little honey. I'd like to make some that are vegetarian, but the pancetta brings color, smoke, savory, and salt, so what on earth would I replace it with? Or should I just serve it as pear and honey but with a forward cheese?

Thanks for your thoughts - much appreciated!

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  1. Dried cranberries would be nice.

    1. You could make mini tartlets with bear and a serious blue cheese like Stilton and gorgonzola with perhaps a spring of time laid across each bite. You could also do a pear slice topped with a bit of arugula, blue cheese, a candied walnut, some raspberry vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil to replace the unctiousness you'd get from the pancetta.

      1. use a smoked cheese such as gouda with the pear slice, add a pecan if you want some crunch to it.

        1. There is a smoky blue cheese from Oregon--called something simple like Oregon Smoky Blue from Rogue Creamery--that would be fantastic on pears. I'm sure there are other smoky blues available as well, but the RC is the one I had.

          1. How about chopped smoked nuts? If you couldn't find smoked nuts, I'd roast plain ones in smoked paprika. But I bet you could make them ALL this way and no one would miss the pancetta!

            1 Reply
            1. re: katecm

              I would miss the pancetta...but I love that idea!

              These are great suggestions everyone, thanks!

            2. Pear and pecorino salad can be dressed with walnuts and honey for the same impact.

                1. Replace the honey with a balsamic reduction.