I absolutely fell in love with the idea of roasting strawberries with basil long before I even took the first bite. Because after 30 minutes in the oven, my kitchen smelled amazing.
My mother-in-law once served us cheesecake drizzled with basil syrup for dessert. Back then, the idea of basil going anywhere near something that wasn’t tomatoes and mozzarella was completely a foreign concept to me. And that, of course, meant that I was first in line to snag a slice. But it really works perfectly with strawberries, and much better than mint, if you ask me.
Cooking the strawberries concentrates the flavors and softens the berries, leaving them with a texture similar to thawed, frozen berries but a taste 1000 times better. Cooking them with basil and pairing them with tangy goat cheese on a crispy slice of toast?
The basil and goat cheese cut the sweetness of the berries, lending it a more savory bite. It’s an appetizer perfect for a summer dinner party.
Or a March lunch.
Three days in a row.
Roasted Strawberry Crostini with Basil and Goat Cheese
Basil, goat cheese, and roasted strawberries offer a savory twist to this strawberry appetizer.
- For the basil syrup:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 5 large basil leaves, torn or cut into several pieces
- For the crostini
- 12 oz strawberries, hulled
- Pinch of salt
- Small baguette, sliced into 12-16 1/2-inch slices
- Olive oil
- 4 oz goat cheese, softened
- Small basil leaves, for garnish
- To make the basil syrup, heat water and sugar in a small saucepan until hot and remove from heat.
- Add basil leaves and let sit 15 minutes. Discard the leaves.
- To roast the strawberries, heat the oven to 300.
- Place the strawberries into a small baking pan (I used an 8x8) and pour the basil syrup over top. (I used medium strawberries, if yours are very large, consider cutting them in half).
- Roast for ~1 hour, until the berries have softened. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Increase oven to 425.
- Drizzle the baguette slices with olive oil and bake 5-7 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, and while still warm, spread with goat cheese.
- Use a spoon to break up the berries a bit, and then scoop a spoonful onto each crostini.
- Drizzle with additional basil-strawberry syrup.
- Garnish with small basil leaves and serve.
- Leftover basil-strawberry syrup will keep up to a week in the fridge - it's wonderful over yogurt and ice cream.
Yields: 12-16 servings
Estimated time: 1 hour 30 minutes