Tag Archives: strawberries

roasted strawberries + stewed rhubarb

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Summer is my time of excess.  Too many choices at the market means more greens, more zucchini, more berries than I can tackle in a week.  Weekends become packed with adventures: hiking, kayaking, boating, picnics, road trips.  Typical weekend tasks are crammed into weeknights, and suddenly on any given Thursday night I realize I have a fridge full of produce that needs to be used before Saturday morning’s farmer’s market… and that I haven’t vacuumed in two weeks… and that I haven’t slept properly in two weeks, either.  Time for another G&T.

Believe me, this is not a complaint.  Instead, here are a couple ideas to help you use up that glut of rhubarb you’ve got in the backyard or those strawberries you just had to bring home.  Last Friday morning, I picked a flat of strawberries.  For whatever reason, I had made up my mind that I needed a full flat.  Had to have it.  Then I had a million errands to run for the weekend’s canoe-and-camping trip, and I realized at 4pm that I had no clue what to do with the berries and the rhubarb on my counter… but I was leaving for the weekend.  So I fell back on an old mantra- “When in doubt, roast.”  Sweet or savory, you’ll cut through the bulk quickly, and if nothing else, it’ll prolong fridge life.

(I don’t think that’s actually an old mantra, I think I just made that up. Go with it anyway.)

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Think of these more as “guidelines” than “recipes.”  Cardamom could replace the vanilla bean, or sherry could replace the brandy, or lemon juice could replace the balsamic.  Be creative.

This is a simplified version of Heidi Swanson’s Roasted Strawberries from her Super Natural Every Day.  The balsamic vinegar really makes these an irresistible treat that should be put on top of pretty much everything.  My favorite so far: mascarpone spread across a gluten-free butter (Ritz-style) cracker and topped with a huge dollop of these strawberries. 

Roasted Strawberries
Makes a generous 1 cup (1/2 pint)

3 cups strawberries, cleaned and quartered or sliced
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons brandy (or similar liquor or liqueur, or apple juice)
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, to taste
Olive oil, approximately 1 tablespoon

Preheat oven to 350.  Clean and chop strawberries.  Stir in maple syrup and brandy.  Brush olive oil onto a rimmed baking sheet, then spread out strawberries and shake lightly to even out.  Roast for 35-45 minutes, carefully stirring with a rubber spatula 2-3 times while roasting.  Remove from oven to cool.  If using balsamic vinegar, pour over the hot berries and lightly stir in.  Cool for 5 to 10 minutes and serve warm over shortcakes, biscuits, yogurt, or toast.  Store extra in a jar in the fridge for a few weeks, though they won’t likely last that long.

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I first saw this idea on Orangette a few years ago, and I tweak it slightly every summer.  I use less wine and chop my rhubarb more finely, which results in a thicker, almost stew-like rhubarb.  This preserve is amazing with tangy yogurt, some soaked or fermented oats, and a small handful of toasted nuts.  But like Molly, I tend to eat it straight from the jar, cold, with a spoon.

Stewed Rhubarb
Makes approximately 1 cup (1/2 pint)

3 cups chopped rhubarb (roughly 1/4″ to 1/2″ pieces)
1/4 cup cane sugar or caster sugar
1/4 cup red wine
1/3 to 1/2 vanilla bean

Preheat oven to 350.  In a pie pan or bread pan (or similar baking vessel), stir together the diced rhubarb, sugar, and wine.  Split the vanilla bean and nestle in both halves- no need to scrape out the seeds, most of them will be jostled out during cooking and stirring.  Roast for 35-45 minutes, stirring 3 or 4 times throughout.  Let cool for 10 minutes before serving or moving to a jar for the fridge. I personally prefer this chilled, but I imagine it would be good over warm baked oatmeal or on toast too.

DSC_1679Happy 4th, everyone.

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Filed under Condiments, etc., Desserts, Gluten-Free, Spring, Summer, Uncategorized

strawberry-rhubarb upside downer


I really wanted to tell you about the asparagus risotto I made this week.  It was creamy and subtle and deliciously spring-ish, while comforting enough for the chilly air that settles around us in the evenings.  But I can’t.  It would be irresponsible- nay, reprehensible– to allow you to go on living one more day of your life without hearing about this cake.

There are cakes for celebrations, and then there are cakes like this.  This is an everyday cake, padding around in day-old jeans and a faded t-shirt, perfect for coffee and a bit of freshly whipped cream.   But at the same time, this is a seriously awesome cake.  This is a make-this-when-your-mother-in-law-comes cake.  Even if it’s only in jeans, it’s impressive.  Sweet, sticky, and spicy. What more do you need?!


This is from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my home to yours, except she wrote it as a cranberry-nut cake.  She also included in the margins directions for a peach version, but I decided to springify.  I halved the cinnamon from the original recipe and added half a teaspoon of fresh cardamom- and WOW.  If you’ve got cardamom, break that bad boy out for this cake.  I don’t know if there’s anything I like more in spring than the combination of strawberries, rhubarb, and cardamom.

There’s also no salt in this cake.  That may dismay some and cheer others.  I will admit that I cheated and used salted butter for the “topping” and unsalted for the actual batter, because I had some stray salted laying around.  Don’t be afraid to add salt if you  know you like it in your cakes and muffins.


Strawberry-rhubarb upside downer
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: FMHTY

14 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons + 1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 cup chopped rhubarb
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350.  Put an 8×2 (or 9×2) round cake pan on a baking sheet (you WILL want the baking sheet!).

Melt 6 T of the butter and whisk in 6 T of the sugar. Stirring, bring up to a brief boil, then pour evenly into the bottom of the cake pan.  Sprinkle strawberries and rhubarb on top of the butter-sugar combination and press lightly to flatten.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the remaining 8 T (1/2 cup) of butter for 2-3 minutes until soft and creamy.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cream well for 2-3 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each one and scraping the bowl down as needed.  Pour in the vanilla.  Turn the mixer down to low and add in half of the dry ingredients, only mixing until barely incorporated.  Mix in the milk.  Then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Spoon the batter in the pan over the strawberries and rhubarb, and smooth the top down.

Bake on the baking sheet for 40-45 minutes, until a knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.  With a knife, loosen the cake from the pan around the edges, but allow to sit for 20-30 minutes to let the cake soak up as much of the juice as it can.  While still warm, carefully turn out the cake onto a plate.

Serve thick slices with fresh whipped cream or ice cream, preferably while still a bit warm (or warmed up for 20 seconds in the microwave.  Enjoy!

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Filed under Breads, Breakfast, Desserts, Spring, Summer

sprrrriiiing?

I’m not quite sure it’s spring here yet.  We’ve had days in the 60s, the tulips are ready to burst open, multiple frilly rhubarb leaves have unfurled, but now the weather people are predicting SNOW! (I will say that I’ll take snow over flooding any day and my thoughts are with everyone in the South who’ve got much worse weather than we do.)

But in my head (and my stomach), it’s definitely spring. I’m craving  my family’s traditionally “spring” foods, like new potatoes roasted with thyme and carrots cooked with a little butter and honey.

There are cats in open windows. Definitely a sign of spring.

We grilled a white chicken pizza with asparagus on Sunday- a perfect meal after a long weekend of patio- and firepit-building.

And, of course, we’ve been indulging in one of my favorite spring treats- roasted strawberries with boozy whipped cream. It’s a perfect combination, and of course the extra whipped cream is a natural accompaniment for your first-of-the-season cobblers and pies.

Roasted Strawberries

I didn’t get a picture of the roasted berries, but will try to remember to take one and upload later in the week.
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Wash and hull 1 cup of strawberries.  Slice the large ones into quarters and the medium and small guys into halves.  Place on the parchment and sprinkle 1/4 cup white sugar over the top.  Toss gently to distribute the sugar and coat the berries evenly.  Roast on the bottom rack for 30 minutes; cool at room temperature for 10 minutes and transfer to a container to finish cooling in the fridge (or the freezer, if you’re as anxious as I am!)

Boozy whipped cream
And you thought the strawberries were a cinch?  This is truly the easiest thing in the world:

Set a small bowl and beaters of an electric mixer (or stand mixer) in the freezer for 5 minutes.  Assemble 1 cup of heavy whipping cream (avoid the ultra-pasturized if possible), 2 teaspoons white sugar, and 2 tablespoons of brandy, bourbon, or your favorite liqueur.  Begin whipping the cream in the cold bowl; after a minute, add the sugar and booze. Continue whipping until it’s set. Serve on anything and everything, including those strawberries.  And go outside to admire the flowers.

Also delicious served with angel food cake, pound cake, or short cakes!

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Filed under 30 min. or less, Condiments, etc., Desserts, Spring, Summer

Rhubarb-Strawberry Crispy “Crumble”

Spring is here! Spring is here!

How can I tell? Yesterday, I had enough rhubarb to make a small dessert! Yes!

I guess this is more of a crisp, as opposed to a crumble… I adore having oats in the topping, but I did use a small amount of baking powder. Gourmet says that a crumble is merely the British equivalent of a crisp. A bit more research indicates that they are practically the same thing, but us Americans like to add oats to the toppings of our crisps.

Any way you call it, this was delicious. Especially topped out of the oven with fresh whipped cream.

Topping:
1/4 lb. butter (one stick)
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash of salt
1 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/3 c. oats

Filling:
1 c. rhubarb, chopped
1 c. chopped strawberries
1/3 c. sugar (I used brown sugar)
1/2 t. cardamom

Combine all the ingredients for the filling ia pie pan or 8×8 baking dish. In a medium pot or bowl, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and salt and whisk; stir in flour and baking powder until combined. Fold in the oats- you may have to use your fingers to get them mixed in and get a crumbly consistency.

Crumble the topping over the filling and sprinkle with sugar – I love the look of sparkly sanding sugar on top. Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes, or until topping is golden brown. Serve with icecream or whipped cream.

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Filed under 30 min. or less, Desserts, Spring