Grilled Apricots with Cardamom Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts

Dear Oven,

It’s not you, it’s me. I’m not saying we should fully break up, but maybe just take a little time off? Perhaps see other appliances?

You’re really awesome and I have so much fun with you, but recently things have been tough. Every time we come together I get all cranky and sweaty and you kind of just sit there, pushing all that heat into an already hot room.

I know there isn’t much you can do about that so maybe we’ll just come back together in the fall when we’ve each had some time to cool off?

Let me know,

Sarit

It’s too hot. Or at least it was this past week. And all my cooking plans melted away as I lay around wishing for a cold pool to magically appear. (It didn’t)

Instead, I turned to the stovetop to grill up these amazing farm-fresh apricots.

Grilling fruit is always a good idea. It caramelizes the surface and transforms the texture. Peaches, plums, pineapple…seriously everything.

I wanted to create a perfect summery bite that was savory and sweet. I’ve been experimenting for different dinners and events coming up, and I’m happy to report this recipe is a keeper.

What I love about this recipe is that it straddles the line between salad/app and dessert. The pepperiness of the arugula and basil meet with the sweetness of the fruit and honey. The cheese makes it hearty and creamy and the nuts add texture and the bridge between savory and sweet. You can tell, I’ve thought a lot about this.
In making this, I had one of those really great neighbor moments. When I was pulling my ingredients together, I couldn’t find my cardamom pods. I turned my kitchen inside out, but they didn’t surface. I texted Ari who replied “I don’t remember ever seeing cardamom pods”. Then I wondered if I made them up. So I reached out to my friend and neighbor asking her if she had what I needed, and she did! I popped over and fell all neighborly as I borrowed her jar of cardamom.

Of course, later that night when I was cleaning up the kitchen I found the pods hiding in a bowl I would never have checked. Maybe it’s time to get more organized?

Speaking of neighbors, the honey I used for this came from a friend (and sort of neighbor…in NYC at least) who keeps bees in Brooklyn. It’s so cool (and delicious) to use “homemade” honey. High fives for awesome friends!

These bites are perfectly summery and would go with anything. Fo reals.

So have you been to your farmer’s market recently? What have you bought and what summery foods are you making?

Grilled Apricots with Cardamom Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts

 
Grilled Apricots with Cardamom Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts
Ingredients
  • 6-7 apricots
  • Olive oil
  • Sea Salt
  • 4 oz goat cheese, left at room temp for half an hour
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1.5 Tbsp honey
  • ¼ cup of hazelnuts/filberts, toasted, peeled, and crushed
  • Basil (8-10 leaves)
  • Arugula
Instructions
  1. Fire up your grill or griddle (I bet a George Foreman would work too) to a medium heat.
  2. Slice apricots top to bottom and remove pits. Brush the cut side with olive oil and lay on the griddle cut side down. Let it cook 8-10 minutes. It will release itself when it's done. If it's done but won't come off the grill use a little more oil on the next batch. As they come off the heat, sprinkle a little sea salt over them. Set aside to cool.
  3. Place your goat cheese in a large bowl and, using a hand mixer, beat it for a couple of minutes until it breaks down and becomes creamy. Add the cardamom and ½ Tbsp of honey to the cheese and blend together well.
  4. Using a teaspoon measure, scoop out little balls of cheese and stuff the apricot halves. Crack a little fresh black pepper over each half.
  5. Tightly roll up the basil leaves together and cut thin ribbons.
  6. Place arugula on a plate and arrange the apricot halves with cheese on top. Sprinkle the hazelnuts and basil over the apricots and arugula. Drizzle remaining honey over the dish. Serve warm or at room temperature. If you refrigerate these, let them come to room temp before serving otherwise the goat cheese will be more crumbly and less creamy.