Strawberries, Slightly Adorned
Strawberries, like asparagus, peaches, corn and a few other joys of summer, are perhaps best enjoyed unadulterated, at least at the beginning of the season, when the thrill of their newness is fresh. Later on, when you’re on your 10th quart, it’s time to tinker. —Mark Bittman, American food journalist and author
I could not agree more with Mark Bittman’s assessment of succulent and sweet strawberries, fresh from the vine. Unadulterated is always best. That said, a little tinkering never hurt anyone and the following recipes are proof of that. Both are light desserts that are easy to prepare and satisfy the need for “a little something sweet” after a meal. So don’t fret when you have picked one (or 500) too many strawberries at one of the many commercial berry patches in our area. These two recipes should use up a few delectable pints for you and have your guests begging for more.
by Mark Bittman
Yield: 4 servings
1 pint strawberries
½ cup sugar, or to taste
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- Hull strawberries. Wash them and chop into ¼-inch-thick pieces. Toss with half the sugar and wait 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they give up their juices.
- Place half the strawberries and all the juice in a blender and puree. Pour puree back in bowl with the remaining chopped strawberries.
- Whip the cream with remaining sugar and vanilla until cream is stiff and holds peaks easily. Fold berries and cream together and serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to two hours.
Strawberries in a Mango Sea
by Martha Rose Shulman
Yield: 8 servings
2 large or 4 small ripe mangoes
3 TBL fresh lime juice
2 TBL sugar
2 pints ripe, sweet strawberries, hulled and quartered
Fresh mint leaves for garnish
- Peel and pit the mangoes. Cut down the broad side of the fruit from stem end to tip end, slightly off center, with the knife following the edge of the pit. Cut down the other side of the fruit in the same way. Cut the flesh from the sides of the pit, cutting as close to the pit as possible. Lay each half, skin side down, on your cutting surface and score with the tip of your knife in a crosshatch pattern, down to — but not through — the skin. Lift each mango half, and press on the skin with your thumbs to turn the half inside out. Slice the cubes away from the skin. Repeat with the other half. Cut the strips from the sides away from the skin. Discard the skins.
- Place the mango in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add half the lime juice and 2 teaspoons of the sugar. Purée until smooth. Scrape into a bowl, and set aside. You should have about 2 cups purée.
- Toss the strawberries with the remaining lime juice and sugar, and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes, in or out of the refrigerator.
- Spoon about 1/4 cup of mango purée onto each dessert plate or into wide dessert bowls. Place a spoonful of strawberries, with juice, in the middle. Garnish with mint and serve.