Getting Fresh: Sweet on Strawberries
Strawberries are here! And I mean the real deal -- the fire-engine red, lip-smacking variety that are at their peak, right now, at area farmer's markets. Yesterday, I spotted them at the Foggy Bottom FreshFarm Market as well as at the market in Clarendon, just in time, before the pounding rain.
Overcome by their honeyed perfume and eye-popping beauty, I bought two quarts and tore into one as soon as I got home. It's a once-a-year opportunity, folks, for a few short weeks. Hightail it to your nearest farm market now!
Below, 10 ways I like to get my strawberry groove on:
*Churned into sorbet or ice cream -- for cones, sandwiches, or better still, milkshakes
*Baked into a crisp or cobbler, depending on which topping I'm in the mood for
*Layered in parfait glasses as a fool, paired with stewed rhubarb
*Sandwiched between shortcake, of the sponge or cream biscuit variety, and whipped cream or a fluff of creme fraiche
*Macerated in rum, bourbon, Grand Marnier, just because I need a new twist on a TV snack
*Pureed and strained for juice, a smoothie starter, or if heightened with a wee bit of cayenne and shredded basil, into a bowl of thirst-quenching soup
*Tossed into a salad of spinach, thinly sliced red onion and fennel
* Stewed and jarred for breakfast jam
* Mixed with other berries or other acidic fruits (passion fruit, guava, oranges, pineapple) to make a compote of sorts, and poured into a baked meringue shell (see recipe details below)
* Smeared with goat cheese or cream cheese, atop a cracker, a bagel, a hunk of a baguette
This, of course, only skims the surface, so by all means, share your favorite ways of playing with strawberries in the comments area below. I found a fun collection of strawberry-centric recipes in the current issue of Bon Appetit magazine
Today's valentine to strawberries is the first installment of "Getting Fresh," a weekly blog feature on local fruits and vegetables appearing Thursdays, during growing season. Please send comments and suggestions my way.
From "Local Flavors" by Deborah Madison
3/4 cup sugar -- granulated white or superfine, or granulated light brown
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300. On a piece of parchment paper or foil, draw six 4-inch circles. Mix a tablespoon of the sugar with the cornstarch and set aside.
Beat egg whites and salt until stiff, then add sugar gradually and beat until thick and glossy. Add sugar-cornstarch mixture, then fold in vinegar and vanilla.
Divide mixture among the 6 circles. Carefully shape meringue so that it resembles a nest, with high sides.
Bake for 1 hour, then turn off oven and let sit until cool. Gently pry off lining and set on serving plates.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Troylet | May 17, 2007 11:58 AM
Posted by: John L | May 17, 2007 12:25 PM
Posted by: rockville | May 17, 2007 1:28 PM
Posted by: Strawberry lover | May 17, 2007 4:57 PM
Posted by: Kim O'Donnel | May 17, 2007 5:57 PM
Posted by: Alexandria | May 18, 2007 7:17 AM
Posted by: Berri | May 18, 2007 7:30 AM
Posted by: Frederick | May 18, 2007 9:54 AM
Posted by: Rebecca | May 18, 2007 10:06 AM
Posted by: Wheaton | May 18, 2007 10:22 AM
Posted by: AngelaA | May 18, 2007 11:22 AM
Posted by: Andrea | May 18, 2007 11:30 AM
Posted by: Troylet | May 18, 2007 11:37 AM
Posted by: Joe | May 18, 2007 1:56 PM
Posted by: drtfrm | May 19, 2007 3:34 PM
Posted by: drtfrm | May 19, 2007 3:36 PM
Posted by: Mudville | May 19, 2007 8:08 PM
Posted by: andi | May 19, 2007 8:14 PM
Posted by: Laura | May 19, 2007 9:26 PM
Posted by: Cora from Vienna | May 24, 2007 1:33 PM
Posted by: Atty Olsen | May 24, 2007 3:25 PM
Posted by: Waldorfguy | May 24, 2007 7:14 PM
Posted by: StewartG | May 24, 2007 9:06 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.