The First of the Season

I thought it might be just a bit early for strawberries, but I couldn't resist buying a pint of these glistening beauties. They looked almost like fraise de bois, the long and narrow, more aromatic version of a strawberry, and nothing like what you would find in the grocery store.

They were small and shiny, ripe and ready to eat. Though not yet dripping juicy or sumptuously sweet, they were a treat to celebrate the first of the season and what was to come. In a few weeks, there is no doubt they will be ready for jam and my standard fare: topped on cereal for breakfast, sliced with a drizzle of rose syrup and served with buttermilk ice cream or made into a crisp when rhubarb comes in season.

For now, they don't seem to last that long. They have been eaten by the fingerful and kept out at room temperature to ensure the flavor does not diminish. I doubt they will have a chance to ripen anymore, they will be gone by tomorrow and my bowl will be empty until next weeks' visit to the market.

For a quick and refreshing summer sorbet, try this easy recipe I have adapted from Alice Water's cookbook, Chez Panisse Fruit

Strawberry and mint sorbet with Rose Syrup
Two 1-pint baskets of strawberries {about 4 cups}
2/3 cups water
6 fresh mint leaves
2 Tbs. rose syrup or rose water {found in specialty markets-use water if you cannot find or don't want to use}
2/3 cups water
1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice

Rinse and dry the strawberries and mint leaves. Hull the strawberries and puree with the mint leaves, water,rose syrup,sugar and lemon juice. Taste and adjust flavoring as you like. Freeze according to the instructions of your ice cream maker.
Makes about 1 quart.
* Reserve a few strawberries for garnish {keep the stems on}.

Buon Appetito!

copyright Alisa Barry 2007


zirelda said...

We planted a strawberry bed this year. The only thing I know about strawberries is Junebearing and Everbearing. We got everbearing since we want them more than once a year.

Nice recipe. I'll give it a try.

{The Essence of Eating begins with the Art of Food} said...

wonderful. I would love to hear how the recipe turned out for you.

buon appetito!