Tag Archives: Strawberries

Stupid Easy Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream

Ok, so here’s a little summer quiz: What did we learn last week, other than the fact that 3-day work weeks rock? Well, careful readers, we learned that this year’s strawberry season was late to arrive but is awesome. We are, in mid-July, only halfway through the heart of strawberry season, which means we will have zero downtime before it’s blueberry season. And all this is overlapping with the greater “ice cream season” (a subset of maple creemee season, which  some people believe should last all year.)

Let me connect the dots here. It’s time to bust out the ice cream maker in your basement. This recipe came to me via Sister B, who lives amidst California’s produce  bonanza. It is, as promised, ridiculously easy, and kind of healthy, or at least not that unhealthy thanks to the buttermilk. It is for sure best with organic strawberries, buttermilk and cream, but also awesome with items from the standard fare at the air-conditioned Nirvana of your grocery store. No need to pre-make and pre-chill the mix, and, if you are feeling very Laura Ingalls, it can be made without an ice cream maker.

It’s summer—no need to prolong this. There are places to go, things to eat. Have a great weekend!

Stupid Easy Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream

This recipe is adapted from How To Eat A Peach, by Diana Henry. Our friends like Diana, in Mother England, know a thing or two about strawberries and cream.

Ingredients

  • 18 oz strawberries
  • 1 cup superfine sugar, divided
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways, or 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 pinch sea salt flakes

Method

  1. Hull and slice the strawberries. Put them into a bowl with half the sugar and the seeds from the vanilla pod (scrape out the seeds using the tip of a knife. or…dump in the vanilla.
  2. Leave this to sit for about 30 minutes. The strawberries will become soft and exude some juice.
  3. Transfer the fruit with all the juice and the rest of the sugar to a food processor and whizz (God I love the Brits) to a purée.
  4. Push the purée through a nylon sieve (or whatever you’ve got) to get rid of the seeds. Mix with the buttermilk, sour cream and salt.
  5. Churn in an ice cream machine, or transfer to a shallow container and put in the freezer.
  6. If you’re using the manual method, take the ice cream out and churn it – either using electric beaters or by putting the mixture in a food processor – 3 times during the freezing process. Do this first after about 1 hour, when the mixture is setting round the edges, then at 2-hour intervals. (Extra points for wearing a gingham dress during this escapade). Cover with a lid, or with cling film or greaseproof paper, between each churning, and when you store it. Freeze for around 8 hours or until completely firm.
  7. Take the ice cream out of the freezer about 10 minutes before you want to serve it, to allow it to soften slightly.

Strawberries, blueberries, ice cream. What is wrong with this picture? Nothing!

 

If you need something else cold, refreshing and summery to bring to the party might I suggest:

watermelon gazpacho

watermelon sangria

Frose or Frosecco

Lemon Beach Pie

 

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Summer Strawberry Chopped Salad

Welcome to the steamy hot heart of summer! I was feeling like a slacker for being a solid month late in posting this strawberry salad. As with all the rhubarb recipes I meant to post, I thought I’d missed my window. BUT it seems fate and Mother Nature have conspired to make the timing downright perfect. Strawberry season is three weeks late here, thanks to all that June rain (that I missed in CA…#notsorry).

This recipe comes from the fabulous Bevin Wallace’s Real Life Delicious blog and is based on a salad at Vail’s Chophouse. If you can get away with a DIY version of anything in Vail you’re usually $100 ahead of a game, even when it comes to salad. Considering the other revelation that this year is serving up a bumper crop of strawberries, I’d highly encourage you to try this salad. The dressing alone is worth having on hand, and the whole shebang is a great addition to any gathering.

The only slightly labor intensive thing here are the candied pecans. You could of course use some fancy packaged pecans, or simply sub toasted pecans but, c’mon, live a little. It’s salad and it’s summer and as the strawberries will tell you, it’s been a gloomy spring. Time to celebrate!

Nothing says summahhhh like fresh strawberries

Summer Strawberry Chopped Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. pecan pieces (you won’t need a half pound of pecans for the salad, but nobody every complained about having too many candied pecans on hand)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 4 oz. crumbled goat cheese

For the dressing

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs. dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 tbs. fresh lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon)
  • 2 tbs. honey
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Method:

Make the candied pecans: Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Whisk egg white and 1 tbs. water together in a separate bowl until frothy. Toss pecans into the egg white mixture. Mix sugar mixture into pecan mixture until pecans are evenly coated. Spread coated pecans onto a baking sheet. Bake, stirring every 5 minutes, until pecans are evenly browned, about 25 mins. Allow to cool. In the meantime…

Make the dressing: Whisk together the garlic, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt & pepper in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified.

Make the salad: Tear the lettuce and place in a large (larger than you think you need) bowl. Add the strawberries, avocado, goat cheese, and about 4 oz. of the pecans. Drizzle on the dressing and toss gently.

Want more reason to get fresh berries? Check out these strawberry all stars.

 

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Strawberry Mania

Summer's strawberry bounty

Summer’s strawberry bounty in its many forms.

Strawberry season is getting off to a slow start in our corner of the world, but now the big grocery stores are full of them and with a little sunshine the farmers markets will soon be exploding with the good stuff. Of course, you’re not going to go wrong by simply washing them and letting everyone inhale them by the pint, but let’s go over just a few easy, yummy ways to use them.

Ready? Here we go…

First, a word on hulling strawberries. The frugal among us get torqued at wasting half a strawberry because SOME PEOPLE grab the stem, take one big bite and leave the rest for the compost bin. So we the frugal rush to hull all the strawberries and thereby enable maximum use of the fruit. The best way to do this of course is with a strawberry huller, and if you have one you are my culinary niche tool hero. If you don’t, here are two solutions to maximize each berry:

First, the most basic and humble vegetable peeler has a built in “potato-eye remover” at the end, which can just as well take on strawberry stems. You will quickly discover that you can’t manhandle a strawberry like a potato, but get as close as you can to the stem, plunge the tip of the peeler right in and dig out the stem. It takes about three strawberries to master this.

If that still sounds too much labor go ahead and chop off the tops, then use them to make your own shmancy strawberry water that will make you the envy of any yoga class:

Strawberry Water

After rinsing your strawberries, slice off their tops and dump them into a large jar. Fill it with water, let it sit for an hour or so and… Voila! Strawberry infused water. Drink deeply. Feel beautiful. Namaste

Worlds Easiest Strawberry Dessert

Ingredients:

  • Strawberries
  • Sour cream
  • Brown sugar

Method:

Grab a strawberry. Dip it first in sour cream, then in brown sugar. Eat. Repeat.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote:

This comes from the Bitten Word with inspiration from farmer Carrie at their CSA It is certified easy, very quick, kid pleasing, totally portable AND a great way to use up the rhubarb that might be taking over your garden. The guys at BW advise us not to get hung up on the amounts listed in this recipe. Depending on the amount of rhubarb and strawberries you have, the method is easily adapted. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups rhubarb, sliced into half-inch pieces
  • 1 cup strawberries, capped and halved (if using larger strawberries, you can quarter them)
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Method:

Place rhubarb in a saucepan. Sprinkle with sugar. Cook over medium heat until rhubarb begins to soften and fall apart (20 minutes). In the last 5 minutes of cooking, toss in the strawberries. Add a little lemon zest at this point for extra credit.

Remove from heat and let cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Serve over good vanilla ice cream or yogurt, top with whipped cream or just put it on a spoon.

 Some Savory and Sweet Goodness

Balsamic vinegar and strawberries are a classic Italian-inspired combination. They can be served as a dessert, like in Ina Garten’s recipe below, in a salad with goat cheese and peppery greens (pepper is key to the strawberry/balsamic alchemy) like arugula or as an appetizer like on the bruschetta further down. I’ve even seen them on a pizza with bacon, but we’re not going there today.

 Balsamic Strawberries à la Ina Garten

 As with the compote, no need to be too particular on quantities. Just aim to get the proportions close:

Ingredients:

  • 4 pints (8 cups) fresh strawberries, sliced thick
  • 5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pints vanilla ice cream, for serving
  • Freshly grated lemon zest, for serving

Method:

Thirty minutes to an hour before serving, combine the strawberries, balsamic vinegar, sugar, and pepper in a bowl. Set aside at room temperature.

Place a serving of the strawberries in a bowl with a scoop of ice cream or dollop of whipped cream on top and dust lightly with lemon zest.

Strawberry Goat Cheese Bruschetta

These are gooooood, kid approved and somewhat impressive to guests. Substitute whipped cream cheese if you’re not a goat cheese fan, but do try the goat cheese on your picky eaters. You might be surprised. This recipe makes 12 big slices which can easily be cut in half for easier eating. Remember the napkins!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 12 slices Italian bread
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound strawberries, washed and diced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup goat cheese, room temperature
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 Method:

  1. Heat vinegar in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Simmer until reduced by about half, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Prepare a grill for high heat. Place bread slices on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. (alternatively, assemble bread in a baking sheet, brush slices with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake at 350 until toasted to your liking.)
  3. Combine strawberries and thyme in a small bowl and set aside. (If your strawberries aren’t farm fresh and super sweet sprinkle them with a little sugar when nobody is looking.)
  4. Grill bread on the preheated grill until browned, about 3 minutes per side.
  5. Spread goat cheese on toasted bread. Add black pepper, salt, and reduced vinegar to the strawberry mixture. Spoon over the goat cheese topped bruschetta. Garnish with additional thyme.

These are easy to bring if you pre-bake/toast the bread. Simply bring goat cheese, strawberry/balsamic mixture and bread in separate containers and assemble on site.

Now let’s hope the sun shines on those strawberry fields so the berry fest can begin!

 

 

 

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