Saturday, May 23, 2009

Strawberry Mania!

You think I am exaggerating, but after months and months of standing in my pantry, wondering what I should do with beans for the 43rd time in a row, I had nearly forgotten about the abundance of the growing season. When Natalie showed up at my house the other day with a three gallon bucket full of organic strawberries, I got so excited, I think I actually did a little dance. This is how I like to cook- inspired by the beauty of food in its season.
Now, what to do with all of those strawberries? Here's how much I love you- I measured for you. This is not my usual procedure in the kitchen, but I wanted to be able to give you some ideas of what to do with all of the strawberries that I am hoping you have!
Strawberry Salsa from my friend Janet Allen (my friend Sarah said that this is so amazing, you might just not be able to leave the table! Consider yourself warned...

Makes 6 cups
6 T. olive oil
2 T. white balsamic vinegar
½ tsp. salt
2 pints fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped
8 green onions, chopped
2 pints cherry tomatoes, chopped
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; add strawberries and remaining ingredients, tossing to coat. Chill at least 1 hour. Serve with tortilla chips.

Strawberry Custard Tart with Shortbread Crust
I am giving you the recipe for the crust, because it turned out well- I will continue to experiment with it- Next time I will substitute almond meal for some of the flour. Alas, my custard did not turn out very well. Use a recipe for the custard from someone you trust. Put sliced berries on top- lots of 'em.

Put in bowl of food processor:
1 1/4 C Flour
1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 Stick (cut) cold butter
1 egg yolk

Process until mixed. Pour into 10"tart pan. The mixture will look like a pile of crumbs. Press them into pan. Chill for a couple of hours. Cook 15-20 minutes in 400 degree oven. Let cool before filling with custard.

Strawberry Rose Ice Cream
Place in bowl:
2 cups sliced strawberries
2TBS honey
1 tsp. Rose Water

Stir and let sit for a couple of hours. This brings out all of the sweet juices that will make your ice cream the loveliest shade of pink.

2 Cups heavy cream
1 Cup whole milk (I use raw milk, which is really fatty, so you could also use Half and Half)
1/4 Cup sugar

Blend milk, cream and sugar with juices from macerated strawberries. Freeze in ice cream maker, adding berries in the last few minutes.

Got other plans for your strawberries? Let us know!

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