Roasted strawberry crostinis with queso fresco chipotle cheese

Aug 21, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. ET

The phrase "you eat with your eyes before your stomach" is an old one that is nearing cliche, but that certainly doesn't mean it's not true. As a food photographer, I sometimes envision a visual before the recipe comes to mind. I'll think of washes of color or contradicting textures, and then develop a recipe to fit that image.

That happened with this rustic crostini. I love the idea of taking something usually so technicolor like fresh strawberries, and making them a bit moody and sophisticated. Roasting them concentrates their sweetness by caramelizing their sugar, so you get this rich, intense flavor, and a more subtle, almost tawny color palette. Paired with smokey and spicy creamy queso fresco chipotle cheese from The Laughing Cow, this is a unique appetizer you can enjoy over a glass of wine with friends, or as your 3 p.m. pick-me-up.

Ingredients:

For 4

  • 4 wedges, The Laughing Cow Creamy Queso Fresco Chipotle
  • 4 thin slices of baguette, toasted
  • 8 strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered, depending on size
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Lay the strawberries out on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with sugar and a little salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the juices are bubbly and the strawberries have caramelized a bit.
  3. Spread the sourdough with a wedge of cheese each, top with strawberries and enjoy.
Disclosure: This post is part of a collaboration with The Laughing Cow and SheKnows.

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