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Summer recipes: grilled strawberries with balsamic, pecans and goat cheese

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Dessert: the sweetest way to satisfy the soul after a meal. Sometimes a rich chocolate treat is what I desire but during the hot, summer months I often yearn for something lighter. That doesn't mean I am willing giving up the option of a great dessert. What it does do is inspire me to create dishes with fresh ingredients that will leave myself and my guests ultimately satisfied but not so full they want to head home and off to sleep.

This festive and beautiful recipe for grilled strawberries with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, chopped pecans and goat cheese is sweet, savory and hits the dessert mark perfectly. The grilling process results in a light carmelization on the outside of the berry as well as the release of some of the sublime juices. The Sweet Vanilla Cardona goat cheese has a mouthwatering and unique vanilla flavor with additional hints of caramel, coconut and nutmeg. This cheese is handcrafted by Carr Valley Cheese Company in Lavalle, WI. and couldn't have been a more superb addition to this recipe. Let the party continue!

Grilled strawberries with balsamic drizzle, chopped pecans and goat cheese

Ingredients

  • 16 ounce container of fresh strawberries, cleaned and green tops removed
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of chopped pecans
  • 4 ounces of Sweet vanilla cordona goat cheese*

Preparation

  • Toss the berries gently in the granulated sugar. Grill over medium heat for a couple of minutes or until the berries begin to soften slightly and grill marks start to appear. Remove and let cool.
  • Place grilled berries in two decorative bowls or glasses. Drizzle each portion with balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with pecans and goat cheese. Garnish with mint leaves if available. Serve immediately.

*Purchased at Byerlys in Chanhassen. If you cannot find this particular cheese use your favorite variety of goat cheese.

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