There is something magical about a communal dish – Spanish Tapas nestled in the middle of a table, a warming pot of goulash, a selection of spiced Indian curries or tearing the end off a piping hot loaf of freshly baked bread that unites us in an almost neanderthal manner.
This year I have discovered something from the kitchen tables of yesteryear that will blow your mind (and possibly the size of your hips but it is worth every single extra flight of stairs). A warm, indulgently oozy Brie (or Camembert) baked in the oven with a sprinkling of delicious flavour, served alongside a selection of freshly toasted bread and dipping crudite. What more could you want to start a luscious Christmas feast alongside the people that you love?
What’s more you could make individual ones if you get small rounds of brie, and depending on your crudite choice, it is a is totally gluten free starter. You might try baking it in the wicker containers some cheeses are sold in, but for SinterThanksgiving the other week we didn’t want to risk it.
Serves several people depending on the size of the cheese and their predilection for dairy goods
There are no calories in Christmas fayre, right?
1 large round of Brie
2-3 cloves of fresh garlic
4-5 springs of fresh rosemary
Crudite such as fresh toasted bread and crackers
- Pop the oven on to pre-warm to 180°
- Unfold the Brie from the wrapping & place in an oven proof dish, or a round of foil with the sides folded up.
- Lightly skim the skin of the brie (literally just a few milimetres deep) off with a spoon, from the top level to about a cm from the edge (ie the green area in the pic >
- Insert the tip of a knife into the body of the cheese, then slide slivers of the skinned garlic and sprigs of rosemary in order to ensure the flavour is evenly imbued.
- Dash a few drops of olive oil onto the exposed surface.
- Slide into the oven for approximately 12 minutes, or until the centre seems liquid (if you’re in the process of cooking a Turkey just make a little room on the bottom of the oven and add a few minutes if the heat is much lower).
- Serve with the crudite.
It can’t be much easier really. The alternative flavour possibilities are also making my mouth water; cranberry sauce and walnut, sundries-tomatoes and olive tapenade, a splash of your favourite liquor, pesto, honey (served with fresh apple slices), wild mushrooms & fresh thyme, a beautiful onion chutney…
This gif courtesy of Beantown Baker says it all (and she gives a wonderful hint about not having to scoop the top of a plain baked brie);