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