Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sneak Peek: Local Strawberries!

Hey guys!  Surprise Sunday post!

Summer is a beautiful time of year in the PNW, obviously, and it's also the time of year when I bite into a local strawberry and realize every other strawberry I've eaten the rest of the year was total bullshit. You can fool yourself a little, macerating them in sugar or dipping them in chocolate, but when it comes right down to it, nothing compares to something picked that morning and grown less than a hundred miles away. They'r red right down to the middle and so incredibly juicy that all the dry and white centered berries I've eaten throughout the year circle through my mind and I vow to never subject myself to anything other than utter strawberry perfection.

With this in mind, I'm dedicating this week to all things strawberry and will (hopefully) have some lovely recipes to share. The best thing to do with a nice ripe berry is just to eat it, but a nice cocktail isn't a bad way to enjoy them either. Strawberry rhubarb basil margarita?! Don't mind if I do (or you do either).

To make this little beauty I just took a handful of strawberries and a handful of chopped rhubarb and stuck it in a pot with the juice of one lemon, a little water, and a couple tablespoons of sugar. Let that cook down for a bit, until it's nice and juicy and you have a syrup (not so long that it turns into jam, although I did that by accident and all hope was not lost). Strain it to take out the chunks and seeds, and then mix it with about a quarter cup lime juice, a tablespoon of agave nectar, and pour over ice. Add your tequila, I did about a shot, but use less or more to suit your taste (or mood, I'm not judging). The final step is to add a few leaves of chopped basil, stir it up and drink it! (Note: If you cooked most of the liquid out of your strawberry syrup, you can just add a bit of water).

Another super simple thing you can do with strawberries is to throw them in a salad. This is something my mom makes, and despite how incredibly simple it is, people will die for it at a dinner party or barbecue. I don't much believe in bottled salad dressing (not because I'm pretentious, but because it's so easy and cheap to make your own), so I just use nice balsamic and olive oil, whisked together with garlic, salt and pepper. Pour that over spinach or mixed greens, and top with sliced strawberries and crumbled goat cheese and toasted nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, GO NUTS!) and you have it. Here's mine, there's not much artistry to the photo, because it was sitting next to a steak, and I was hungry.

Thanks for coming back again, and I'll see you Wednesday for some more things to do with all those local berries.

xoxo Megan

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