I have no doubt it will be a good year for blackberries. We’ve had a stretch of warm weather that’s extended out for several weeks, to the point that I almost can’t remember the last time it rained in Vancouver. Almost.
Even with all the sun and heat, though, blackberries do take their time to ripen. It’s mid-August already, but over the weekend the two spots that Bob scoped out for picking had bushes mostly full of hard, light red berries that won’t be ready for at least another week.
There were a few juicy ones, though, the kind that practically fall off into your fingers when you give them a gentle tug.
We had to be selective, not only because of the few really ripe berries. For some reason, we both were wearing too few clothes to venture too far into the prickly bushes. (Shorts and a tank top for picking blackberries, and Bob shirtless? What were we thinking?)
In our defense, it was a very hot afternoon. And it was our first time out this season. More of a blackberry reconnaissance mission, since we weren’t sure what state the berries would be in once we got up close. We’ll know better next time, or at least we’ll bring some long sticks to push away the prickly shoots.
At the risk of duplicating your triple cream brie and honey dessert too closely, Eve, I experimented with an appetizer of roasted blackberries, lightly melted brie and toasted crostini. So we could have blackberries before and after dinner. It makes perfect sense in August, doesn’t it?
The roasted berries have a savory twist — a splash of olive oil and some salt and pepper before you roast them. (I love a sweet-salty flavor combination. The ripe, sweet berries together with the salt were rather moreish, as Bob would say.) Aahhhh, summer.
A savory twist on blackberries, this cheesy fruity crostini is a delicious start a summer evening. Even better with a glass of crisp rose wine.
- 1 baguette, sliced 1/4 inch thick into 24 pieces
- 6-8 ounces brie cheese, cut evenly into 24 pieces
- 48-60 blackberries
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Slice baguette into 1/4 inch slices and place on an unlined baking sheet. Bake until tops are lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Turn crostini over and bake until lightly browned, another 3-4 minutes. Move crostini to a cooling rack and let cool.
- Place blackberries on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 5-8 minutes, or until just warmed through. (Keep an eye on them so they don't get too soft or start to burn!)
- Set your oven to broil. Place the crostini on an unlined baking sheet. Top each with one slice of the brie and broil until the brie is slightly melted. Remove from oven. Top each crostini with 2-3 roasted blackberries and serve immediately.