Strawberries & fromage blanc, and, France.
This Friday I'm leaving for France for eleven days. My destinations- Jura and Alsace, with a little pit stop in Paris just in case I haven't had time to inhale all the raw cheese produced in the country while in the west. First priority: Comté. I'm touring some caves, meeting some Montbéliarde cows, tasting the heck out of this beautiful Rhone-Alps cheese, and drinking all the Jura vin jaune I can get my hands on. I'll be busy. If you want to follow my travels or track my cheese or wine consumption levels while I'm gone, check me out on Twitter or Facebook. I'll be updating somewhat frequently, on some days, if there's internet. I'll also be writing about the trip on this blog and on my (new!) newsletter upon my return.
For the next two weeks on this blog, however, I'm going to feature some of favorite spring cheese and produce recipes. The first: Strawberry and fromage blanc crostini, pictured above.
Strawberries and fromage blanc are a classic of pairing as Sonny and Cher, and since spring announces its sunny arrival by gifting us the best of the berry and dairy world, it’s our blessed duty to honor this seasonal pleasure. I like to serve this for brunch with a side of scrambled eggs and sausage, or for a light lunch with an arugula and toasted walnut salad.
Since fromage blanc and spring strawberries are already so naturally sweet, it’s not necessary to sweeten them up with much more but a touch of sugar. Adding a little lemon zest to the fruit highlights it and the fromage blanc’s lively flavors citrus notes, and melted butter brushed atop the crostini adds sweet-savory nuances. Feel free to use day-old bread for this. Choose a sturdy-style bread with a tight crumb that can handle being topped with cheese and berries once toasted.
Strawberry & Cream Crostini Makes 6 crostini
1 ¾ cup strawberries, washed, and sliced 1 tablespoon sugar ½ teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated or chopped 2 ½ tablespoons salted butter, melted 6 slices bread, sliced ½ an inch thick at an angle 8 ounces fromage blanc, room temperature Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Combine the strawberries, sugar and lemon zest in a bowl and stir. Let sit for 30 minutes to 2 hours at room temperature.
Use a pastry brush to evenly distribute the melted butter over the tops and bottoms of the bread slices. Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake for ten to fifteen minutes, or until golden. Let cool.
When ready to serve, spread the fromage blanc over the crostini, top with the strawberries, and serve.