Slow-Roasted Strawberries with Whipped Goat Cheese, Honey, Sunflower Seeds, and Bee Pollen

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Serves 2–3 as an appetizer or snack

This recipe is ripe for riffing. Don’t have watercress? Try garnishing with other soft greens or herbs like arugula, chervil, or mint. Not a fan of sunflower seeds? Experiment with poppy seeds or chopped, toasted nuts for a different kind of crunch.

Ingredients

1 pint early season strawberries
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (plus more to taste)
1 cup fresh chevre (Bill prefers Briar Rose chevre from Dundee, Oregon)
cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon wildflower honey
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon bee pollen
watercress to garnish (optional)

Recipe

Preheat oven to 200°F

Stem and halve the strawberries, or quarter if large. Toss gently in a bowl with just enough olive oil to coat and a small pinch of salt, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in oven for 45 minutes to an hour, just until berries start to release sugar and wilt slightly. Let cool and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whip the chevre with a few cracks of black pepper (let’s say 2–3 turns), one half teaspoon of salt, and two teaspoons of olive oil until smooth. (You can do this in a mixer or food processor, but it just makes more dirty dishes.)

On a medium-size dinner plate, spread the whipped cheese in an even layer, covering almost the diameter of the plate. Place the cut/cooked strawberries on top of the cheese in no particular fashion, just not overlapping each other. Drizzle the entire plate with the honey, using a spoon, then drizzle the whole plate with the remaining tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle the sunflower seeds, then the bee pollen over the whole plate, and finish with a few more cracks of black pepper and a few sprigs of watercress if desired.

Serve with fresh baguettes or crackers of your choice.

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