Strawberries!

I’ve created 5 wonderful recipes using strawberries for my friends over at Foodlander that are perfect for summer parties, simple lunches, and sweet endings.  Head over and check them out!  What is your favorite way to use strawberries?

Strawberry Gallettes with Pistachio and Fennel Pollen

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Strawberry Thyme Margaritas With Black Lava Salt (Smoothie Style)

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Strawberry Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

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Strawberry Ricotta Crostini with Bacon

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Strawberry & Black Quinoa Salad

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Pie Lesson: Strawberry Lattice Top Pie

My wonderful friend Amy over at huckleberryandco, who is a baker, gluten-free cookbook author, elite level clarinet player, chair caner and all-around creative genius, recently gave me a pie lesson.  We had so much fun visiting between the various stages of the recipe, talking about Tennessee (where she’s from), motorcycles (her beau has 5 vintage bikes); making tinctures and salves (she’s also a medicine woman!); and of course taking a lunch break for punk tacos at Tacos Puntas Cabras.

She taught me how to gently roast berries to get them to release their juices; to save the syrup for sodas or other creative concoctions; how to properly roll my crust; how to dock the bottom crust; how to “spank” herbs to release their flavor; and, how to weave a top crust.

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Here’s the Recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

Crust:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar

Filling:

  • 3 lb. strawberries, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbps lemon basil
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream

Preparation:
1. Pulse flour, butter, and 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. sugarin a food processor until pea-size pieces form. Add ½ cup ice-cold water; pulse until dough forms. Form into a ball; halve and form into two disks. Wrap; chill for 1 hour.

2. Heat oven to 425°. Take herbs and slap each leaf between palms of hands, then thinly slice.  In a bowl, toss together remaining salt, berries, sugar, herbs, and set filling aside. Roast strawberries in foil on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes.  Let cool.  Unwrap dough; roll both into 11″ wide and 1/8″ thick circles. Transfer one circle to a 9″ deep-dish pie pan; dock crust by pricking with a fork 3 or 4 times; mound filling inside. Cut ¾”-wide strips of dough from remaining circle; transfer to top of pie, creating a lattice pattern. Trim and crimp edges. Brush dough with cream and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake until golden and bubbling, about 1 hour. (If crust begins to brown before pie is finished baking, cover with foil until pie is done). Let cool.

Let’s Eat Strawberry Shortcake for Breakfast Today

 

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Why?  Because it’s a holiday and you may get extra time to sleep, extra time to surf, extra time to do whatever it is you love, and plenty of time to nap and read in between.  Then there’s eating.

If you are hosting a barbecue this year, or bringing a dish to another’s Memorial Day festivity, I have some suggestions for burgers, salads and desserts (including this strawberry shortcake we had for breakfast on Tuesday) that I shared with my friends over at Foodlander.  Head on over and let me know what sounds good to you!

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Juicy Red Salad, Buttermilk Dressing; and, May I Rant?

 

Without Avo

Without Avo

Here’s a fresh and beautiful springtime salad inspired by the early Brooks Cherry appearance in our farmer’s markets this week.  It’s crunchy, creamy & juicy, and sweet, tart & peppery, all in one bite.

The sweet and juicy fruit pairs well with the crunch and grassyness of the black eyed pea and english pea sprouts; and the avo and creamy dressing, tangled with the shock of peppery arugula, rounds everything out in balance.

That's Better

That’s Better

This Friday at my favorite farmer’s market, I was so excited about these cherries, harbinger of summer, that I literally just threw together a salad idea in my head, made a few more purchases with the cash I had left, and biked all the ingredients to work in my backpack.  I figured I could snap some pretty good photographs in our office kitchen, which encompasses one quarter of one entire building floor, and has 2 floor-to-ceiling windows as its 2 out of 3 walls.  Great light, juicy cherries, some sprouts, my iphone camera, and all of a sudden I have a chance at making it to Fiesta Friday after all!

I artfully assembled my salad, moved it around to scout lighting, and then it happened.  That person, you know the one . . . the one that every office has who is miserable . . . she snarked me!  She rained on my sunny disposition.  Really staring deeply into my salad (and getting into my personal space) I believe what she said was, “That looks so disgustingly healthy,” with a tinge of sincere scorn and mockery. Plus maneuvering around me with a step-ladder and crowding me big time.  I mean, can you give a girl a little happy privacy . . . or wait 2 minutes until the space is free?  I know I’m a little weird with my food but . . . can’t we all just get along? 🙂

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On that note, I would like to wish all of my fellow “food obsessed” or “food interested” bloggers and Fiesta Friday #13 co-guests a very happy weekend filled with lots of good food, companionship, gratitude and love!!!!!!!

Here’s the Salad Recipe:

*Please note that the dressing recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe published on the foodnetwork.com, and it will make much more dressing than you need for this salad, but it is a WONDERFUL salad dressing to have on hand.  I use Thai basil instead of regular basil because I like it better! I keep a jar in my refrigerator at work and at home.

Ingredients:

3 cups wild arugula

1 cup mixed sprouts (I used black eyed pea and english pea found at my farmer’s market, but please feel free to use bean sprouts, radish sprouts, whatever you can)

1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted

1/2 cup strawberries, halved

1/2 avocado, sliced

Arrange all ingredients in a nice big bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and let sit while you make the dressing.

Ingredients for the Dressing:

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup yoghurt, drained for half an hour

1/4 cup olive oil

2 scallions

1/2 bunch Thai basil

1 Tbsp mustard

1 clove garlic, smashed

1 Tbps lemon juice

1 tsp honey

pinch salt

Place the scallions, basil, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Puree for 15 to 20 seconds to make a smooth mixture. Add the mayonnaise, yogurt, and buttermilk and blend until smooth. Transfer the dressing to a container, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour for the flavors to develop.

For one gigantic salad as listed above, I use about 1/4 to 1/3 cup dressing and mix really well with my hands, then eat with a spoon!  Don’t forget to top with freshly cracked black pepper.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/buttermilk-ranch-dressing-with-bibb-lettuce-recipe.html?oc=linkback