Hey Strawberries! You’re back! And I sure am glad.
I picked up some beautiful ‘Hood’ strawberries from Spring Frog Farm at the Holistic Homestead's farmer's market stand yesterday. They were juicy, sweet and everything I expect the perfect strawberry to be.
After savoring a bunch directly from the basket, I decided to dress them up a bit just for fun.
Growing up in our family of Chinese immigrants, we weren’t big on dessert. No whipped cream, stacked napoleons, baked profiteroles. There was nary a meringue to be found.
Instead, we had fresh fruit after our meals. Usually succulent San Bernadino navels, nibbles of tart, floral kumquats and other local citrus.
With six kids around, there was no time for dressing up fruit or much else, anyway. For us, the fruit we gobbled down already tasted delicious on its own - peeled, segments separated, our hands sticky with fresh juice and oils from the citrus zest.
For my newly-acquired berries, I wanted the dress up to be fairly simple. I thought about Morrocco. I wanted some nuts, seeds and honey. Maybe I would also add some spices.
I used some local honey and hazelnuts I had and added in the richness of pine nuts. Ground pepper and coriander seemed like they could become fast friends with the strawberries.
This is what came out of my experiment. It is a tasty and easy recipe to fiddle around with on a relaxed weekend day.
Use any nuts or seeds you have on hand. Adjust the spices. Play!
Fresh Strawberries with Roasted Spiced Nuts and Seeds and Honey
Half a pint of fresh strawberries, quartered
3 tablespoons hazelnuts (or any other nuts and seeds of your choosing)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
½ teaspoon coriander, ground
2 teaspoons thin honey
Lemon zest for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place quartered strawberries in small bowl.
Prepare baking sheet by placing small piece of parchment or silicone mat on pan. In another small bowl, combine nuts, seeds, butter, pepper and coriander. Place mixture on baking sheet and transfer to oven. Bake for 7 minutes.
Remove nuts and seeds from oven. Pour honey over to combine. Cool slightly then spoon over the strawberries.
Garnish with lemon zest if desired.
Enjoy this sweet and tart, floral and peppery concoction immediately. The pepper lingers on the tongue, an echo of the delicious flavors of which you have just partaken.