Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Strawberry Delights -- Recipes for Roasted Strawberry Strudel, Strawberry Coconut Vegan Ice Cream and Strawberry Soup

To me no food seems as festive as the bright red strawberry; it makes any celebration from Father’s Day brunch to bridal shower to graduation party that much sweeter with its bright taste and colorful appearance.

Strawberries are relatively local, too. California produces about 85 percent of the nation’s strawberries and the nearby Salinas/Watsonville area produces more than 40 percent of the state’s crop, which results in a plentiful supply of the fruit in the Bay Area. There are also growing regions all around the U.S., so chances are you can find in-season local berries near where you live. The berries, a member of the rose family, are commercially or homegrown in every U.S. state and Canadian province.

These recipes originally appeared in my j. weekly cooking column.  Here is a link if you'd like to read the original. I’m using the word “borscht” to mean a cold soup, and this strawberry version would work well as a starter at a special breakfast or brunch or as a light dessert. The strudel uses commercial filo dough for an easy pastry. The Strawberry Coconut Milk Ice Cream is creamy but dairy free. Try it topped with chocolate sauce, pineapple chunks and toasted coconut flakes for a tropical sundae. Try this recipe from David Lebovitz for the best chocolate sauce ever.  (Coincidentally, it is vegan as well.)

Strawberry “Borscht” (Cold Soup)
Serves 4

This dish reminds me of a "deconstructed" smoothie.  Try it with creme fraiche instead of the yogurt for a more luxurious experience, or non-fat yogurt for a less indulgent one.
1 lb. strawberries
1 ½ - 2 cups orange juice
1 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup cubed pineapple (cut into ½” chunks)
1 cup plus ½ cup chopped strawberries (cut into ½” pieces)
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
4 tsp. finely chopped mint

Rinse, drain and hull strawberries. Puree. Measure. There should be 1 ½ - 2 cups of puree. Combine with an equal amount of orange juice, the sugar and the lemon juice. Chill. Just before serving, add pineapple and 1 cup of the strawberry pieces. Mix. Put into individual bowls. Top each serving with ¼ cup yogurt, ¼ of the remaining strawberry pieces and 1 tsp. mint.

Roasted Strawberry Strudel
Serves 6

Roasting the strawberries concentrates the juices, which intensifies the flavor and helps prevent "leakage" while the strudel cooks.
2 lbs. strawberries
4 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. walnut oil (optional)
2 Tbs. finely minced candied (crystallized) ginger
Oil or oil spray for greasing baking trays
4 sheets of filo dough, each 13” x 17”, thawed if frozen
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup bread crumbs
3 Tbs. chopped walnuts

Oil or oil spray for greasing baking tray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash, drain and hull berries. Cut into ½ “ pieces. Combine with honey, walnut oil and ginger, spread in single layers on two greased, rimmed baking trays. Bake for 20 minutes until berries are soft and juices are thick and syrupy. Let cool.

Return oven to 350 degrees. Working with one sheet of filo at a time (keep others covered), brush with butter, then top with next sheet. Repeat, ending with the top sheet buttered. Scatter bread crumbs across top. Mound filling in a line about 2-3” wide along the longer edge of the filo dough, leaving a 2” margin from sides and end. Sprinkle nuts over strawberries. Fold filo over filling, fold over the ends and roll up. Brush top and sides with butter. Place seam side down on greased baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Strawberry Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Serves 6

There is no dairy in this recipe, which makes it perfect for vegans, but delicious for everyone. You can substitute agave nectar or honey for the sugar if you'd like. Taste the resulting syrup. Remember that it will taste less sweet when it is cold, so you'll need to adjust accordingly.
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 lb. strawberries
1 Tbs. lime juice
1 cup coconut milk
½ tsp. almond extract

Mix sugar and water in a small pot. Simmer until sugar is dissolved. Cool. Wash, drain and hull berries. Puree. Measure 1 ½ cups of puree for ice (save rest for another use). Mix puree with sugar water, lime juice, coconut milk and almond extract. Chill. Pour into ice cream maker and churn as per manufacturer’s instructions. Pack into airtight container and freeze for 2 hours up to 4 days. Take out of freezer 20 minutes before serving.

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fyi -- this is my first major post using the new blog post editor and photo upload and it put in some spacing I can't seem to get rid of. Sorry for the glitch and I'll try to clean up sometime when I understand it better.

2 comments:

Rosemary Crawford said...

Those all look so yummy! Our strawberry season is just starting, so I am looking forward to trying them out!

Doron Honig said...

excellent desserts, thank you very much