Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Driscoll's Berry Week: Berry-Pistachio Phyllo Cups with Honeyed Goat Cheese

It's Driscoll's Berry Week here at The Weekend Gourmet! I’m a huge fan of Driscoll’s Berries. Their blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are always gorgeous and full of vibrant berry flavor. I’m going to be spotlighting their sweet, juicy berries this week in appetizer, entrĂ©e, and dessert recipes. The dishes can be served as a cohesive berry-centric meal if you like. You can also pick a course to feature during the peak berry season this Spring and Summer! At the end of the week, one of you is going to receive coupons for two free Driscoll's items so you can create some of my featured recipes in your own kitchen. More details on that in just a bit…first, let’s talk appetizers!

I wanted to feature an appetizer that’s easy to whip up, but fancy enough to serve company. The kind where all you need is a glass of sangria for your free hand! I found two great appetizer recipes at the Driscoll’s website…and combined the two into a hybrid that I call Berry-Pistachio Phyllo Cups with Honeyed Goat Cheese. Using frozen mini phyllo shells makes the prep and assembly a snap, and the bite-size portions  make it easy to control calories and fat as part of my Healthy Eating Month goals. While the phyllo cups briefly heat in the oven, you have a pocket of time to make the creamy goat cheese filling. Simply add a Driscoll’s blackberry or raspberry, some crushed pistachios, and a drizzle of honey...and you’re ready to serve these lovely bites in less than 30 minutes.

Not only are these phyllo bites pretty to look at, they’re healthy and delicious to boot! I alternated raspberries and blackberries for a nice color contrast, but you can use one berry if you prefer. Both the blackberry and the raspberry versions taste wonderful, so just have fun with it!

Berry-Pistachio Phyllo Cups with Honeyed Goat Cheese
adapted from Driscoll's Berries 

Step 1: Heat a package of 15 frozen mini phyllo cups per package directions. While the cups are heating, make the filling by combining the following ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer: 4 ounces crumbled soft goat cheese, 3 ounces fat-free cream cheese, 1/3 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup honey, and salt & pepper to taste. Combine on low speed until combined, then whip on medium speed for 2-3 minutes…until the mixture is fluffy and light.

Step 2: Spoon the filling into a zip bag and snip the corner. Pipe the filling into each phyllo shell. Top each shell with a Driscoll’s blackberry or raspberry, then sprinkle with crushed pistachios. 

Step 3: Just before serving, drizzle each bite with a bit of honey. Place the phyllo bites on a pretty serving platter and serve with your favorite wine or sangria. I promise these appetizers will be gobbled up by your guests. They look so impressive, but it’ll be our little secret how totally easy they are to whip up.

These guilt-free bites are insanely good: crispy phyllo, airy and slightly sweet whipped goat cheese, and an intense berry burst. Add in the sweet honey drizzle and nutty pistachios…and you’ve got a great flavor combination in your mouth. I loved that they are a portion-controlled, two-bite appetizer. The small size makes them perfect for passing around al fresco, and they look so pretty with the pop of color on a white platter.

The nice folks at Driscoll’s are going to give one of you two coupons for free Driscoll’s Berry products as part of my Driscoll’s Berry Week celebration. To enter, leave a comment below telling me your favorite Driscoll's berry…and how you enjoy eating it. I will accept entries until this Saturday 5/18 at 1159 p.m. The winner will be notified via e-mail on Sunday, so please make sure to include your e-mail with your entry. If I can’t find you, I can’t notify you! Good luck…and come back on Thursday for a fabulous grilled tilapia recipe featuring a killer strawberry-avocado salsa on top. It’s knock-your-socks-off good!!

Disclosure: Driscoll's Berries provided me with free product coupons to facilitate Driscoll's Berries Week. All opinions expressed are my own.

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