My mom is to credit for bringing this recipe into my life. First the recipe, then I will tell you about this recipe in the chit-chat section at the end.
- Brie cheese (full round – any size)
- Tomatoes (any kind – cherries have a nice aesthetic)
- Fresh basil
- Salt & pepper
- Olive oil
- Balsamic reduction
Rub either a skillet or oven-safe round bowl with olive oil, fully coating the inside. Leaving the rind on the brie, place the round into the oiled skillet or bowl.
Chop the vegetables. If using cherry tomatoes, slice in half. If using large tomatoes, chop into medium size chunks.
Chop garlic into small chunks. You can crush them if you prefer, but I like getting little chunks of caramelized garlic with the cheese.
Chop the basil into strips.
Mix together and toss lightly in olive oil. Add some cracked pepper and salt.
There are 2 ways to cook this. The best is on a BBQ. Don’t ask me why, it just is better. Put the BBQ at medium-high heat and cook until the brie is melty (not completely melted, just gooey).
The other option is to place it in the oven at 375C and cook until it is melty (again not completely melted, just gooey).
Remove from the oven and drizzle balsamic reduction over the top. This is important. It is still good without it, but it is at it’s absolute best with a drizzle overtop.
Choose whatever you’d like to smother in the cheese to eat it. Crackers, crostinis, bread, etc. Then enjoy. Warning, the first few bites are quite hot, so don’t get too overzealous and burn your tongue before you truly get to enjoy this. I know it will be hard not to dig in based on the smell, but I promise you that the extra minute or two before cramming it into your mouth will be worth it. Enjoy!
Chit Chat Portion
My mom made this while we were out camping. It was a beautiful sunny day on a lake that looked like a tropical paradise. My parents, grandmother, sister, brother-in-law and nephews were hankering for a mid-afternoon snack after exploring some of the areas by bike. We were going to chill at the table and play some board games to pass the rest of the afternoon. Rather than grabbing the standard chips, cookies or pepperoni that are often a nice camping snack, my mom got to work on this delicious gourmet treat.
She brought her cast-iron skillet out camping just to make this dish. Into the skillet everything went, and into the camping BBQ. We all held back snacking on anything else as waves of delicious smells built and crashed over us. Even being outside, we could smell the aromatics of the basil and garlic across the campsite. We all waited as the minutes ticked by.
Finally, she lifted the lid and smiled. It was time. There were a few warnings about how hot the skillet would be, and that the cheese was at an almost molten level, so be careful. Popping the cap of the balsamic reduction, she added the finishing touches as we all looked on in anticipation of the first delicious bite. Knowing it was going to be a frenzy and that some of us were going to use the crackers or chips themselves to dig into the gooey goodness, she brought out four spoons.
I chose to wait for the spoon. I wanted to not only dig deep into the ooey-gooey cheese, but I wanted to also make sure that I had tomato, basil and garlic in every bite. I prepared a few crackers on my plate and as I got the spoon, I began the process of creating the perfect bites. Once done, I raised the first cracker and bit into the delicious mixture. It’s flavour was better than the wafting smell had promised while cooking. After that, it was bite after bite, cracker and chip after cracker and chip, until it was gone. So rich. So gooey. Yet so fresh with the tomato, basil and garlic.
It took me a while, but I finally made this for Kurt a few weeks ago. I chose to use an oven-safe bowl rather than my skillet because there were only two of us, and my skillet was massive for the small round of brie that I had bought. We were out of propane, so I did this in the oven. It was amazing. Kurt loved it. I loved it. It was especially good knowing that the tomato and basil was fresh from the garden.
It is one of the easiest snacks, dinners, appetizers, whatever you want to use it for, dishes that you could put together and still have such a high wow factor. So simple, yet so many flavours. I hope you enjoy it!