It’s hard to believe there’s anything you can do to make a creamy French cheese any better than it already is, but we found a new way to take it to a new level.
Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey

A wheel of Camembert (the earthier, bolder cousin of that old favorite Brie) is part of the puzzle. Your backyard grill and some fresh-right-now cherries are the rest of it. Like baked brie in spirit, Grilled Camembert is a twist that takes on a light smoky flavor (and a little charred taste from those cute grill marks) when you gently heat it on the grill for just a few minutes. And the topping, a super quick compote of sweet cherries infused with rosemary, is the perfect foil for each bite of gooey, melted cheese. As the summer beats on, you can still keep this party starter on the roster—just exchange the cherries for the most seasonal fruit: nectarines, plums, peaches, and blueberries all make a delicious pairings.

Grilled Camembert with Macerated Cherries and Rosemary
You can also try this with blueberries, diced plums, or sliced peaches.
Hands-on: 20 min. Total: 30 min.

1 1/2 cups pitted cherries, halved
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (5-inch) wheel Camembert cheese (about 8 ounces), at room temperature
Cooking spray
32 table water crackers

1. Combine cherries, rosemary, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; cook 6 minutes or until cherries release their juices and juices are slightly thickened. Cool completely.

2. Preheat grill to low.

3. Coat grill rack and one side of cheese with cooking spray. Place cheese, coated side down, on grill rack; cook, covered, 5 minutes or until the rind is soft. Invert cheese onto a plate. Spoon cherry mixture over top. Serve with crackers.

SERVES 16 (serving size: 2 crackers, ½ ounce cheese, and about 1 tablespoon cherry mixture)
CALORIES 107; FAT 4.2g (sat 2.2g, mono 1g, poly 0.1g); PROTEIN 4g; CARB 14g; FIBER 1g; SUGARS 7g (est. added sugars 0g); CHOL 10mg; IRON 0mg; SODIUM 149mg; CALC 62mg