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STRAWBERRY & BLUE CHEESE BRUSCHETTA

By STOCKTON BRIGGLE From EatingWell

Here is a knockout appetizer for a summer feast. It is particularly delicious if you are having a cookout. California is not only a big strawberry-growing state, it is also home to one of the great American blue cheeses, Point Reyes Blue. Find it and use it, there is none better. It has big, bold, salty, tangy flavor that is wonderful with sweet juicy strawberries. But really, any kind of blue cheese that you like will work here.

In this healthy bruschetta recipe, the big, bold, salty, tangy flavor of blue cheese makes an unexpected but utterly delicious match with sweet juicy strawberries. This bruschetta recipe makes a quick, easy appetizer and is so pretty topped with chopped green chives.

Makes: 1 dozen
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
• 12 medium strawberries, hulled and sliced
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1/4 cup (2 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel)
• 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
• 1-2 teaspoons water, if needed
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
• 12 slices whole-grain baguette (1/4 inch thick), warmed or toasted

Preparation
• Combine strawberries and sugar in a medium bowl and let stand while you make the cheese spread.
• Combine cream cheese and blue cheese in a small bowl using a fork. Add water, if necessary, for a thick but spreadable consistency. Stir in 1 tablespoon chives and pepper.
• Spread about 1 teaspoon of the cheese mixture on each piece of baguette. Top with the sliced berries. Garnish with a sprinkle of chives, if desired.

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