Savory Goat Cheese and Herb Stuffed Strawberries

I know, I know, strawberries aren't at their freshest right now but sometimes I just can't resist. I'll walk past that little grocery store display of neat little cartons of gleamingly red berries all stacked up and I can't help but buy a carton. I know they won't taste nearly as good as they will when they are in the height of strawberry season this time of year, but I get impatient and crack, not being able to wait any longer, I buy some out of season strawberries.

Berries, when in peak season, are so deliciously sweet on their own that I feel that they shouldn't be messed with. On the contrary, a slightly out of season berry is a great opportunity to do something a little exciting with it to help it out with its laking flavor. Usually when it comes to doing things with strawberries, it's the sweet route that people go. Whipped cream, cream cheese, a dusting of sugar or swirls of chocolate are usually the way to go but for something just a bit different, I wanted to make them savory.

For starters, I whipped together goat cheese and chopped up fresh parsley, chives and mint. Cream got drizzled in after that to help the goat cheese get just a bit more creamy. Then fresh lemon was zested into the mixture to really wake up all the flavors. Just a pinch of salt and pepper finished it off and then the goat cheese was allowed to come to room temperature before being piped into hollowed out strawberries. Right before serving (and unfortunately not pictured) I drizzled a balsamic reduction on top of the berries, creating a sweet and tangy compliment to all of the flavors in this dish.

These berries would be great as an appetizer and they are oh so easy to make. Best yet, the goat cheese stuffing can be made a day in advance but I'd recommend hollowing out the berries and stuffing them on the day you'd like to serve them so that the berries don't dry out. In addition to making a great appetizer, these savory strawberries would be a surprising addition to a steak salad or would be great just resting on top of some simply dressed greens. No matter how you serve them, they are a great way to help ease the wait for seasonal berries.

Savory Goat Cheese and Herb Stuffed Strawberries

- 1 pt. fresh strawberries
- 4 oz. goat cheese
- 1 TBS fresh, finely chopped parsley
- 1/2 TBS fresh, finely chopped mint
- 1/2 TBS fresh, finely chopped chives
- 2 TBS cream (or milk)
- 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

Wash and hull strawberries, set aside. In a small bowl, combine goat cheese and herbs. Add zest and just enough cream to make the goat cheese creamy. Salt and pepper to taste. Allow the cheese to come to room temperature. Using a piping bag, pipe the goat cheese into the center of the berries. Alternatively, you can use a spoon to stuff the berries. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, add the balsamic vinegar and heat at a medium temperature until the vinegar gets syrupy and reduces by half. Drizzle on top of berries and serve immediately.


Megan said...

I've added strawberries to salads before but that's basically the only savory dish I've had them in. The herbed goat cheese sounds like a great pairing!

The Glamorous Gourmet said...

Sounds fabulous and I love the idea of including them in a salad! Or just popping them one by one into my mouth - lol:)

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

Like you, I can't resist those tempting strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. I can't wait for the seasonal ones but I've definitely been cheating until summer begins!

Wicked Domestic said...

Great idea...these would be delicious on a spinach salad or arugula.

Mom said...

These strawberries look fantastic! A great idea for an appetizer also!! Please come home again soon!!

Meesh said...

Wow this is a really creative idea! Trying them on steak salad sounds amazing and perfect for summer (now im thinking about that 'summer salad' line from I Love You Man, LOL)

Good luck on your final exams :)

Jen said...

I buy strawberries in the off season too sometimes. I love the idea of making something savory out of them. Especially since goat cheese is involved!

Jen said...

Katie - If I wanted to make these for a party Saturday night, how far in advance do you think I could make them? Any work I can do ahead of time will help out. Thanks

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

Jen, I would make the goat cheese filling up a couple days before and then just stuff them last minute..I haven't made them too far in advance (maybe a couple hours or so) but I suspect that might get a little mushy if made a couple days in advance!

What's Hot From The Small Boston Kitchen