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, or Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar
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.