september 5, 2018
Knowing apricots were in season, and feeling certain I had seen them at markets, I began to dream of ways to serve them as a one-bite appetizer, preferably with a cheesy filling. But my local markets only carried red apricots, which resemble tiny plums and have the aroma and flesh of the standard golden apricot. And so, red apricots became my friend.
I decided that any small stone fruit would suffice for this recipe, so feel free to wing it with whatever you come across in the stores. If you are lucky enough to purchase apricots or small plums fairly close to their source, at a farmer’s market, you are super lucky. Goat cheese all by itself is a little tart for flavor contrast with the sweet fruit, so the addition of herbs and cream cheese makes for a pleasant spread which can also be served solo with crackers or toasted baguette slices.This herbed goat cheese would also be tasty with split dried apricots or inside large medjool dates like my Herbed Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates published last winter holiday. I like coarsely chopped raw pistachios on these appetizers for yet another textural zing. For making ahead, the goat cheese spread may be made up to several days in advance, but leave the stuffing until just before serving since the apricots dry slightly when refrigerated.
For entertaining, easy and impressive are not mutually exclusive. These simple fruit and cheese bites are the proof you need.
Goat Cheese Stuffed Apricots
recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company
4 ounces goat cheese, softened at room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
small clove of garlic, zested with microplane grater
pinch fine sea salt
1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped herbs : parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, chives, etc
6 small stone fruits – red or gold apricots, small plums
chopped raw or dry roasted pistachios
- Combine goat and cream cheeses with garlic, salt and finely chopped herbs.
- Chill herbed cheese at least 2 hours to develop flavor.
- When ready to stuff fruits, have cheese sit at room temperature until softened.
- Cut fruits lengthwise in half and twist to separate halves – remove pit.
- Place about one tablespoon herbed cheese in hollow of stone fruit and sprinkle pistachios on top.
- Herbed cheese may be made ahead by several days, but stuff fruits right before serving.