Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Best and Highest Use

When it comes to the seasonal foods of the Northwest, contributor Jim Dixon of RealGoodFood likes to keep it simple—the fewer adornments, the better to let their pure flavors come through.

Locally grown strawberries are beginning to show up in the markets, although in short supply because the spring monsoons have affected the harvest. My approach is to eat them while I can, then wait until next year. I like them almost any way except cooked (an abomination in my opinion) or combined with rhubarb (best by itself). But this approach is particularly delicious.

Strawberries with Creme Fraiche and Balsamico

Make some creme fraiche by mixing a couple of tablespoons of Nancy’s yogurt (some people use buttermilk, but Nancy’s has the live bacteria cultures necessary) with a half pint of heavy cream. Cover and leave in a warm place for at least 24 hours, then chill.

Spoon some creme fraiche into a small bowl, add a little sugar to taste (I like to use the bigger crystals, but plain sugar, maple syrup, or honey will all suffice), and drizzle with Profumi Estensi aceto balsamico (you need a true balsamic vinegar, viscous, sweet and acidic, for this; don’t use the industrial stuff, cheap red wine vinegar with caramilized sugar added sold as balsamic vinegar in the supermarket).

Rinse your berries, dip into the creme fraiche, and eat. Repeat.


EcoGrrl said...

prices are definitely up - $28/flat at the farmers market, actually Cheaper at new seasons! but found them on sauvies island for $20/flat - got 4 of 'em!

personally with these hood berries i like to get a ton because i freeze them on cookie sheets and then can make jam and other yummies all year long

Kathleen Bauer said...

Fresh jam…interesting idea! My mother used to make great freezer jam that was the best.