Today is Earth Day and in an attempt to keep my “cookprint” to a minimum, I decided to make a simple, but crazy delicious dessert. Once again Lynne Rossetto Kasper is my inspiration. You see, my husband and I are planning a trip to Italy this summer with our boys. In an attempt to get ready for the journey we’ve been eating a lot of Italian food. I figure it is more important to understand the food than, let’s say, learn the language! 😉 So I whipped up a batch of Lynne’s lasagna and then followed it with this incredibly easy and yet divine bowl of strawberries in red wine.
I’ve been reading on other food blogs about the perfect spring crop of fresh strawberries. Well, here in Minneapolis we finally have buds on the trees, but we’re a good while off before we are plucking fruits from the vine. In fact today is the day that the Backyard Harvest folks deliver the dirt for my Urban Farm. By June I’ll have my own organic garden, but until then…to the market I go. The strawberries I bought at the store were decent, but not yet at their full potential. To maximize their flavor I macerated them in red wine and a touch of sugar. A little chiffonade of mint and they were bright and summery.
For the Strawberries in Red Wine by Lynne Rossetto Kasper The Splendid Table and a little bit me:
2 cups fruity red wine (Merlot, Zinfandel) or whatever you happen to be drinking. I used Pinot because that is what I’d opened!
1 teaspoon lemon juice, plus 1 teaspoon zest to perk things up a bit
1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
2 pints ripe strawberries, rinsed and hulled
6 large mint leaves or basil (as suggested by Giff!)
1 recipe Zabaione if you need to be a little more decadent! recipe at the end of post!
In a large bowl mix together the wine, lemon juice and zest. Add the strawberries and allow to sit at room temperature for an hour. Then refrigerate for another hour. Don’t let them sit more than 2 hours or they will start to break down too much.
To chiffonade the mint:
Wash and separate out the larger leaves of mint.
Stack several leaves together and roll them into a log. Cut the log into very small slices.
This is a chiffonade of mint. This technique is wonderful for all kinds of broad leaf herbs.
Toss the mint with the strawberries at the last second and serve in small bowls or glasses. Make sure to scoop up some of the juices.
They are wonderful with a dollop of whipped cream or a Zabaione made with Marsala wine.
Zabaione from The Splendid Table:
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons dry (or sweet) Marsala (found by the Port and Sherry at your wine shop)
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped to stiff peak
In a large metal bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, Marsala, and sugar. Set the bowl over a double boiler and whisk for 5 minutes or until the mixture is thick and reads 165 degrees on an instant-reading thermometer. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Right before serving fold in the heavy whipping cream in 3 additions.