Dessert coming right up…or is it?

Recently, I have been out of town for the last 3-4 weekends straight. In other words, another beautiful Michigan summer is upon us and Michiganders know far too well to enjoy it before it’s gone as quick as it came. These weekends have been filled with tubing down rivers, cannon-balling into brisk Lake Michigan water, wine tasting at breathtaking wineries on the Leelanau peninsula, and tooling around historical northern Michigan villages on bicycles. All the while consuming tall glasses of Chardonnay, cold beer, and fresh herb-infused cocktails without regrets. These are by far some of my fondest memories as a young adult (26 is still young right? I hope so) and I’m sure many Michiganders can agree with me on that.

IMG_2838
Willow Vineyard in Suttons Bay, Michigan

However, by the time I get home Sunday afternoon, I tend to feel like I have grown a beer, brat, corn on the cob, and pasta salad belly resembling the size of a 2nd or 3rd trimester pregnant woman. Needless to say, my boyfriend and I are usually ready for a light dinner to cap off the weekend and propel us into another great week. I am not big into heavy sweets much anymore but I have recently wanted something also light and sweet to finish off my weekend while watching Game of Thrones. With all the local and abundant, fresh produce in season right now in Michigan, options are really endless. Also, as a dietitian, I always find great reward in transforming the idea of “dessert” into another serving of fruit for the day.

These goat cheese and pistachio-coated strawberries really hit the spot and were incredibly easy to make (thanks to two purple figs for the great idea!). Be sure to try this slightly savory, but sweet recipe this summer. This recipe will not only satisfy and surprise the masses, but is chalked full of monounsaturated fat (aka the good fats) from the pistachios and vitamin C from the strawberries. This dessert leaves you wondering if you are eating a dessert or another fruit serving…or is it both? 😉

IMG_3130

Pistachio and Herbed Goat Cheese Strawberries

IMG_3141

Prep time: 20 mins, Total time: 20 mins, Yield: 7-8 strawberries

Ingredients:

1/2 lb fresh strawberries, washed, dried, stems removed

4-5 oz log of soft goat cheese

1/2 tsp honey

1 cup pistachios, chopped

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1 tsp fresh basil leaves, chopped

pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Wash your strawberries, remove the stem and lay out to dry on a paper towel while prepping the other ingredients.

2. Mash the goat cheese with a fork in a small bowl. Mix in the thyme, honey, and salt. Set aside.

3. Stir your pistachios and thyme together in a separate medium size bowl.

4. Roll a small ball, slightly smaller than a ping pong ball, of the goat cheese mixture. Then, flatten the cheese in the palm of your hand and place your strawberry in the center of the goat cheese. Fold the cheese around the strawberry until covering the majority of the strawberry. Remove any excess cheese.

5. Place the goat cheese-covered strawberry in the medium bowl containing the pistachio/thyme mixture. Roll the strawberry in the pistachio mixture until evenly covered.

6. Place your pistachio and goat cheese-coated strawberries on a plate or cookie sheet. Then, refrigerate the strawberries for 1 hour and serve.

Enjoy!

IMG_3151

-EAW