Simple strawberries


The sight of strawberries reminds me of picnics shared on warm summer days on the hills between Bologna and Florence. Though strawberries are an uncommon ingredient in cookbooks, I consider a big bowl of fresh strawberries to be the centerpiece of many dinner party desserts.

Strawberries inspire to simple, last-minute preparation. In the following entry to my kitchen journal, rather than writing a single recipe, I will describe three methods of combining this perfumed fruit with just a few aromatic ingredients.

Strawberries with orange honey and fresh mint

Wash a carton of fresh strawberries briefly in cold water. Remove the green stems and cut the strawberries in half above a ceramic bowl, in order to catch their juices. Swirl a few spoons of orange infused honey along with the leaves of fresh mint over the delicious fruit. Chill the strawberries for one hour. Serve them in your favorite bowls with sliced orange wedges and a few beautiful fresh mint leaves.

♦  Suggested combinations
Add a spoon of Turkish yoghurt to each bowl of the orange honey and mint strawberries. The addition of yoghurt makes for an appealing dessert and a wonderful late Sunday morning breakfast.

Strawberries soaked in Prosecco

Wash the strawberries as described above, cutting them in quarters above a ceramic bowl, catching their red juices. Cover the strawberries in Prosecco wine and put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill. The Prosecco mingles with the fruit, turning pale red, while the strawberries take on the mineral flavor of the wine. Serve the strawberries soaked in Prosecco as a cocktail in the late afternoon or as a summer dessert.

♦  Suggested combinations
Lemon and lime tart goes very well with the Prosecco strawberries.

Strawberries drizzled with sweet marjoram and homemade balsamic vinegar syrup

Wash the strawberries and remove their stems. Arrange the whole strawberries on a platter. Drizzle homemade balsamic vinegar syrup over the red fruit. Pick the leaves of sweet marjoram and scatter them over the platter. Sprinkle the strawberries with freshly ground black pepper, and bring the platter to the table with a fresh loaf of bread

♦  Suggested combinations
Serve these sweet and savory strawberries with your favorite fresh goat cheese bought from the creamery close to home or from your favorite farmer’s market.

If possible seek out a “robiola tre latti” from the Piemonte region of northern Italy made with goat, sheep and cows milk. Alternatively, look for an ash-covered crumbly goat cheese from the Loire region of France like the Chevre Valancay, well-known for its squared off pyramid shape.

Bring the cheese to room temperature, slicing it into appealing small pieces. Place the cheese on a wooden cutting board, adding a lightly veined blue cheese if you like.

One response

  1. Hi Terri,

    This sound delicious and will be tried this week. Let’s get together sometime in the near future.

    Love, Sandy

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