Strawberries are the angels of the earth,
innocent and sweet with green leafy wings reaching heavenward.
My participation with French Fridays with Dorie this month has not been up to snuff, but I'm ready to jump back in the game. I skipped Week One's Warm Weather Vegetable Pot au Feu, in favor of a Summer Salmon, Arugula and Couscous Salad, and Week Three's Roasted Rhubarb. I did make a go of Week Two's Cola and Jam Spareribs, but was rather disappointed. Despite buying two slabs of tender baby back ribs, the Chinese five spice powder, ginger, apricot preserves and can of Coke for the basting sauce didn't float my boat. In Dorie's defense, that was also the Sunday my Dooley-dog got sick, and we were off to the vet emergency room just as the ribs came out of the oven.
I'm looking forward to some interesting recipes scheduled for July, like Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote and Coconut Lemongrass-braised Pork. If I can find my way around my new kitchen, you'll see a few more FFwD posts in July.
I actually made this week's Mozzarella, Tomato and Strawberry Salad almost a month ago, for Concert in the Park, along with Cherries as Olives. Both were fine additions to the gourmet spread put out by our culinary gurus for the first summer concert of the season. I put a little twist on the salad by roasting the strawberries, and used luscious, creamy burrata.
Adapted from Super Natural Every Day: Well-loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen
via Leite’s Culinaria
Makes about 2 cups
2 pints small to medium strawberries, hulled
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 tablespoons tawny or ruby port
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Freshly cracked pink peppercorns
Preheat the oven to 350°F, with the oven rack adjusted to the middle position.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the strawberries in half or in quarters, depending on size. In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, olive oil, and salt. Add the strawberries and toss very gently to coat. Arrange the strawberries in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Roast just long enough for the juices to thicken, but not long enough for the juices to burn, 20 to 30 minutes.
Transfer the roasted strawberries and juices while still warm from the pan into a bowl. Drizzle with port and balsamic vinegar, and gently combine. Use immediately or let cool and refrigerate for up to several days.
To complete the salad, gently combine the roasted strawberries with about 16 grape tomatoes, halved. If you are not using roasted strawberries, Dorie's recipe uses about 16 small strawberries, hulled, and halved, and 16 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved. She then seasons the strawberries-tomato mixture with fleur de sel, freshly ground pepper and a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil. Serve family style, by placing about a 1/2 pound of burrata on the platter, with the strawberry-tomato salad on the side, and garnish with basil chiffonade, a drizzle of olive oil, and crushed pink peppercorns. Lightly toasted baguette slices complete this summery and colorful picnic-in-the-park platter.
French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group, with over 2,000 members, dedicated to Dorie Greenspan‘s newest book, Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. As members of the group, we have purchased the cookbook and cook along as much as we can. There is a new recipe each week, and we post about that recipe on Friday. We are asked to refrain from posting the actual recipes on our blog. The book is filled with stunning photography, and personal stories about each recipe, which makes it that much more intriguing. I highly recommend adding it to your cookbook collection if you haven't already!