smashed strawberry toasts
photo by Jennifer Johnson
Creamy goat cheese and sweet strawberries make a perfect topping for a quick toast. Crunchy honeyed nuts add another layer of texture and sweetness.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon honey, plus extra for serving
1/2 cup nuts (almonds, pecans, or walnuts)
1/2 pint strawberries, hulled, stemmed, and roughly chopped (see cook’s note)
4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature
6 1/2-inch slices country bread, toasted
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Set aside.
Make candied nuts. In a small nonstick skillet, melt butter. Add honey and stir to combine. Add nuts and cook until they are coated and slightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Be sure to stir every minute or so, and don’t walk away, as nuts will toast quickly. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and allow to cool. Once cooled, roughly chop (if needed) into smaller pieces.
Place strawberries in a bowl. Using a fork, slightly smash into smaller pieces.
Meanwhile, in another bowl, add goat cheese and heavy cream and slowly stir to combine.
To assemble, divide goat cheese mixture equally among toasts. Top each with a spoonful of strawberries and a bit of their juices, then some chopped nuts. Drizzle each with a bit of honey and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
cook’s note: If your strawberries are really sweet and fresh, you can simply smash them in a bowl whole, without chopping them up first. If they don’t smash up easily, add a tablespoon of sugar to the bowl, stir, and allow them to sit. The sugar will help release their juices after a few minutes.