Rose Sangria

by Jennifer

This recipe, from Cooking Light, says it serves 8 but we think it really serves 4!

  • 1 large orange, thinly sliced, each slice quartered
  • 1 cup quartered strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (about 2 oranges’ worth)
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 1 bottle sparkling rose wine, chilled
  • ice

Combine orange slices, strawberries, raspberries, Cointreau, orange juice and sugar in a pitcher, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Refrigerate mixture at least one hour.  Right before serving pour in the wine and stir;

serve over ice.

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Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

by Jennifer

Yet another delicious way to make use of local strawberries…

  • double recipe of Fool-Proof Pie Dough, or store-bought pie crust for a double-crust pie
  • 4 cups strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 2 cups thinly sliced rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 TBS unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • milk to brush on top
  • 1 tsp sparkling sugar or granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with a lined baking sheet inside.

In a large bowl toss together strawberries, rhubarb, sugar and cornstarch.

Roll out half the pie dough on a floured surface and transfer to a 9” pie plate, trimming the overhanging dough.

Pour berry mixture into the pan and dot with butter.  Roll out second half of the dough and place on top, trimming excessive overhanging dough,

then tucking the dough underneath the bottom dough, crimping around the edge.  Cut a few vents for steam to escape.

With any leftover dough, if you’re feeling inspired, cut some creative decorations (I was aiming for strawberries, but wondering if they look more like fish?) and place on top crust.  Brush top crust with a little milk and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 40 – 50 minutes,

until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling (you may need to cover the edge of the crust with strips of foil if they get too brown).  Serve warm or at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt if desired.

Strawberry Bellinis

by Jennifer

This recipe comes from Cooking Light.

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 TBS water
  • 3 cups strawberries
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1 bottle chilled prosecco or other sparkling wine

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat, then remove from heat and let cool.

Puree sugar syrup, strawberries and lemon juice in a blender,

then strain into a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding solids.  To serve, pour 3 TBS strawberry puree into a champagne glass and top with prosecco.  Like the limoncello – mint champagne cocktail, it sort of makes a mess of the glass but tastes better than it looks!

Broiled Salmon with Mint and Preserved Lemon; Strawberry Salad with Feta and Pistachios

by Jennifer

My older son had the idea of a strawberry dinner,

celebrating both the local strawberries now in season and Ira’s birthday.  After picking strawberries at a local farm, I came up with this menu:  Strawberry Bellinis with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Onion Phyllo Pouches; Broiled Salmon with Mint and Preserved Lemon, Strawberry Salad with Feta and Pistachios, and No-Knead Bread;  Chocolate – Strawberry Cake.

Broiled Salmon with Mint and Preserved Lemon – serves 4

  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup, packed, of fresh mint
  • 1 small preserved lemon, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt plus extra for sprinkling
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 4 salmon fillets

In a small food processor (or by hand, if you wish), chop the garlic.  Add the preserved lemon and pulse a few times,

then add the mint and process again to finely chop.

Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in 2 TBS oil, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste.  Preheat broiler.

Brush salmon fillets with oil, season with salt and pepper, and broil a few inches from the heat for 10 minutes, or until just cooked through.  To serve, divide mint/lemon mixture on top of salmon fillets.

Strawberry Salad with Feta and Pistachios – serves 4

  • 1 1/2 lbs strawberries, sliced
  • 10 oz. package Romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup, packed, of fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup toasted, unsalted pistachios
  • 3.5 oz. package crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 1 1/2 TBS sherry vinegar
  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Whisk together vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.  Toss together salad ingredients, then add dressing and toss gently to combine.

Chocolate Strawberry Layer Cake

by Jennifer

This was the cake my son and I made to help Ira celebrate her birthday, and to celebrate the appearance of local strawberries.  The cake recipe comes directly from the King Arthur Flour Unbleached Cake Flour box.  The strawberry jam in the middle brightens the cake and cuts the sweetness of the frosting.  This is my favorite chocolate frosting recipe, adapted from Cooking Light.

Cake:

  • 2 cups King Arthur Flour Unbleached Cake Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup cooled brewed coffee
  • 4 large eggs
  •  generous 1/2 cup fresh strawberry jam

Frosting:

  • 6 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 6 TBS unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 TBS milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Fresh whole strawberries, washed and well-dried
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips

For cake:

Prepare two 8” or 9” cake pans by spraying them with cooking spray, lining them with parchment paper and then spraying the paper (to line with the paper, trace the pan on the paper, then cut it out).  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour through sugar.  Place butter in the bowl and, using an electric mixer on low speed, blend the butter into the flour mixture for 1 minute.

With the mixer running, pour in the oil and mix for 1 – 2 minutes, until the mixture looks like wet sand.

Add in vanilla, skim milk and coffee, and mix well.

Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Divide the batter (it will be thin) between the pans, and rap each pan once against the counter to pop any air bubbles.  Bake for 24 – 28 minutes, depending on pan size, checking with a toothpick to make sure

the cakes are done (toothpick will come out clean).  Let cool on a wire rack, then turn out.  If you make them ahead, wrap well in plastic wrap, then foil, to freeze.

For frosting:

Using an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth.

Add cocoa, milk and salt, and beat until well combined.  If the powdered sugar is particularly lumpy, sift it or stir it through a fine-mesh sieve,

then add the it to the cream cheese/butter mixture and beat at low speed until it all comes together;  then beat at high speed until light and fluffy.

To make chocolate-dipped strawberries, simply heat some chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl on HI for 1 minute, then stir until melted and smooth.  Dip strawberries into chocolate, then place on parchment or waxed paper and let cool (or place in fridge for faster results).

To assemble cake, place one layer of cake on a serving dish, cover with the strawberry jam,

top with second layer of cake, and frost (sides first, then top).

Decorate top with chocolate-dipped strawberries.  (If you place strips of waxed paper under the edges of the cake while you frost it, you can remove them when you’re finished and keep the serving platter clean.)

Buttermilk Biscuits (with Fresh Strawberry Jam)

by Jennifer

This recipe makes 8 large biscuits.  Local strawberries are just coming in where we live and one of the easiest recipes in which to use them is fresh strawberry jam.  For 4 cups of strawberries (halved or quartered if large), add 1 cup sugar;  cook in a large pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thick (this can take an hour or more, depending on how much you start with).  Stir in 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, let cool, then refrigerate for up to a month.

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 TBS baking powder
  • 1/2 TBS sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 TBS shortening, cut into pieces
  • 4 1/2 TBS unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup plus 2 TBS well-shaken buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425.

Using a food processor, pulse together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.

Add the shortening and butter and pulse 5 or 6 times,

until the mixture looks like rough crumbs.

Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in buttermilk.  Gently transfer dough to a well-floured surface and pat into a rectangle about 1” thick.

Using a 2 3/4” – 3” biscuit cutter or glass, cut out (go straight down and up, don’t twist) biscuits and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Gather dough together and repeat, so you have 8 biscuits.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on top.  Serve with butter, honey, or your favorite jam.

Creme Anglaise with Brown-Sugared Strawberries, Almond Biscotti

by Jennifer

The Creme Anglaise and strawberries serves 6;  the biscotti easily serves 6 with some to send home with your guests and some for you the next day with coffee.  You can start the biscotti and while it’s baking, make the Creme Anglaise and slice the strawberries.  Right before you sit down for dinner, stir the brown sugar into the strawberries.

Creme Anglaise with Brown-Sugared Strawberries

  • 2 lbs. strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 2/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract
  • fresh mint leaves for garnish if desired

Combine strawberries and brown sugar about 30 minutes before dessert and let stand either at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Whisk together sugar, salt and eggs in a large bowl.

Heat milk in a heavy medium-sized pot over medium-high heat until bubbles form around the edges, or until a thermometer reads 180 degrees.

Slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture;  return milk mixture to the pot and cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat, until the mixture thickens slightly,

enough to coat the back of a spoon (takes about 5 minutes).  Stir in extracts.  You can use the Creme Anglaise immediately, warm, or chill in the fridge up to 4 hours in advance.

Almond Biscotti – adapted from A Fresh Taste of Italy by Michele Scicolone

  • 2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2  tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup toasted slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together flour through salt.

In a larger bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the eggs, sugar and almond extract

until pale and thick.

Stir in the flour mixture, then the almonds.  Place parchment paper over a large baking sheet.

Transfer the dough to the baking sheet, forming two 12 – 13” long logs (use slightly wet hands to shape the logs).  Bake for 30 minutes.

Let cool for a bit, then transfer logs to a cutting board and

slice the logs diagonally, into about 1/3 – 1/2” thick slices.

Place slices standing up on a baking sheet and bake

until golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes.  Let cool on wire racks.