goat cheese with honey, sunflower seeds, and blackberries

I love getting new cookbooks!  It’s to the point of dorky, how much I love getting new cookbooks.  But you’re gonna love me for passing along all the goods, I promise.

On my latest trip to Sam’s Club, I could not pass up the Southern Living Farmers Market Cookbook.  I tried.  Honestly, I did.  I looked through it, my mouth watering from all the beautiful food photography.  I also liked how the book was categorized according to the seasons, using fresh ingredients harvested during each time period.  But I painfully put it back on the shelf, telling myself I didn’t need another cookbook.  I hurriedly pushed my cart, with a hotdog-eating-3-year-old perched in the seat, out of the book section.  I never looked back as we finished up our shopping.

But then, on the way to the check-out, there it was staring at me.  Calling me.  I leafed through it again.  And I was overcome with the season ahead.  The farmers market/backyard garden season of Minnesota.  The fresh fruits and veggies of spring, summer, and fall.  I just couldn’t bear to part with it.  It had to be mine!

We were invited to a grilling party this past weekend and were in charge of the appetizer.  A perfect opportunity to try out a new recipe on our friends.  The cookbook’s stunning photo of this cheese spread made me want to dip a cracker right into the cookbook.  And the real thing did not disappoint.

To start off with, it was ultra easy.  No oven involved.  Just roll a goat cheese log (Trader Joe’s has them for a great price) in sunflower seeds, drizzle with honey, sprinkle on some berries, and garnish with a few mint leaves.  Seriously, maybe 10 minutes start to finish.

Then, for the flavors and textures.  Amazing!  Goat cheese and honey are a match made in heaven.   And the salty nuts and juicy berries add wonderful pops of contrast.  I served this with Wheat Thins and thought it was the perfect cracker choice – bite-size, flavorful, and sturdy enough to hold up to spreading on the goat cheese.  Just make sure you try at least one cracker with a bit of every single ingredient on it.  It’s alot to stuff in your mouth, especially when using huge blackberries, but you won’t regret it.

Sweet-and-Salty Honey-Cheese Spread

Yield: 6-8 appetizer servings


  • 1 (10.5 oz.) goat cheese log (may be called chevre cheese)
  • 1/2 c. roasted, salted sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1 pt. fresh raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries
  • fresh mint leaves
  • assorted crackers


Press or roll goat cheese log in sunflower seeds, thoroughly covering goat cheese, including ends. Arrange cheese on a serving platter with any remaining sunflower seeds. Drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with berries. Garnish with mint leaves, if desired. Serve immediately with assorted crackers.

 Southern Living Farmers Market Cookbook