Balsamic-Strawberry Baked Goat Cheese Dip

Balsamic-Strawberry Baked Goat Cheese Dip

A sweet and creamy dip so decadent that you just might ditch your date for it. [Photographs: Morgan Eisenberg]

Tangy goat cheese whipped with cream cheese and honey, baked into a rich base for balsamic strawberries and basil, and then served with crunchy toasted French bread for dunking. You can't help but swoon over that.

Why this recipe works:

  • Balsamic vinegar enhances and balances the sweetness of the strawberries.
  • Whipping the cheeses and honey in the food processor keeps the dip from becoming dense and heavy when baked.

Notes: Cheap balsamic vinegar works just fine here, so there is no need to splurge. As the vinegar is reduced, it takes on the taste and texture of higher-quality products.

  • Yield:Serves 4-6
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing and greasing
  • 14 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (see note above)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 12 ounces strawberries, hulled and diced
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons

Directions

  1. 1.

    Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush both sides lightly with olive oil. Bake until golden, about 8 minutes.

  2. 2.

    Meanwhile, combine goat cheese, cream cheese, and honey in a food processor and process until fluffy and smooth. Grease a small (1 quart) baking dish with olive oil and scrape in goat cheese mixture. Using a spoon, smooth goat cheese into an even layer; then use the spoon to create a slight indentation in the center that rises evenly towards the edges (this will help cradle the strawberries later).

  3. 3.

    In a small saucepan, combine balsamic vinegar and sugar over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until vinegar is slightly syrupy and coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

  4. 4.

    Place goat cheese dip in the oven and bake until lightly browned on top, 10-12 minutes.

  5. 5.

    Stir together strawberries, basil, and balsamic reduction in a small bowl. Spoon berries and any juices on top of the baked goat cheese dip and serve warm with the toasted baguette slices.