4 ripe pears (any kind), peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
24 slices from thin French bread baguette
8 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar, Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar or Cabot Artisan Reserve Cheddar
⅓ cup chopped toasted pecans
thinly slivered fresh sage leaves
PLACE rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 400ºF.
TOSS together pears, sugar and oil in 8-inch pyrex or similar casserole until well combined; spread in even layer. Bake for 15 minutes.
STIR pears, then return to oven for 10 - 15 minutes longer or until sugar has begun to caramelize and pears are browned. Add vinegar to dish and stir to distribute. Bake pears for 5 minutes longer.
REMOVE from oven and let cool. (Pears can be prepared up to 1 week ahead and refrigerated until ready to use.)
TOP each bread round with slice of cheddar. Add heaping teaspoon of roasted pears, sprinkle of pecans and slivers of sage.