This fruit and cheese dessert is unexpectedly luscious — and healthful
A plate of fresh fruit and cheese is a delightful way to cap off a summer meal.
But add some heat, honey and herbs to that basic pairing and you wind up with a sensuous, out-ofthe-ordinary dessert with a real wow factor.
In the accompanying recipe, the heat of the grill warms ripe plum halves just enough to caramelize them a bit and release their juices while the char that forms on their cut sides gives them a slightly savoury flair.
Pretty much any large stone fruit, such as peaches or nectarines, would work as a substitute. The key is to use whatever looks and smells the most beautifully fresh and ripe. The fruit is served warm, or at room temperature, with goat cheese. The chèvre is whipped with honey and a dash of milk into a smooth, dollopable cream and then chilled, so its texture resembles a dense whipped cream. It tastes rich and lightly sweet, with the intriguing undertone of the distinctively grassy cheese.
Each plum half is topped a dollop of the cream, punctuated with a plump blackberry and finished with a drizzle of honey, lemon juice and fresh thyme. The herb adds a unique floral essence and is a pleasant element of surprise because thyme is more typically associated with savoury dishes than dessert. Basil or mint would work well, too.
Grilled Plums with Goat Cheese and Honey-Thyme Drizzle MAKES 4 SERVINGS
2½ ounces soft goat cheese (chèvre) 3 tablespoons low-fat (2 per cent) or whole milk 3½ tbsp honey, divided 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice ½ teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves 4 medium ripe plums (about 20 ounces total) ½ tbsp olive oil 8 blackberries (about 3½ ounces total)
Combine the goat cheese, milk and 1½ tablespoons of the honey in a mixing bowl. Use a hand-held electric mixer to beat for one to two minutes, until creamy. Makes about ½ cup. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to three days.
Whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of honey, the lemon juice and the thyme in a small bowl.
Preheat a grill pan over mediumhigh heat. Cut the plums in half through the stem end, pit them and brush the cut sides with oil. Grill the plums, cut sides down, for two to four minutes, until they have softened a bit and there’s some char on the plums’ flesh. Transfer cut sides up to a plate to cool slightly.
Serve the plums with a dollop of the goat cheese cream, each topped with a blackberry and drizzled with the honey-thyme mixture.
Per serving (using low-fat milk): 160 calories, 4 grams protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 10 milligrams cholesterol, 90 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fibre, 23 g sugar
The heat of the grill warms ripe plum halves just enough to caramelize them a bit and release their juices while the char that forms on their cut sides gives them a slightly savoury flair.