We savored the first small feed of strawberries early this week from the garden. Friends on the 'sunny side' of the Island were about a week ahead of us. As usual, the June crop is a battle with the birds and the bugs! Robins strategically place their nests close to the garden to feed their young, so the strawberry beds were covered with a wire cage and hoops with netting last week. The bugs... not such an easy fix. With tiny slugs, wood bugs and millipedes the June crop continues to be a frustrating harvest.
The variety of strawberries I grow are called 'Seascape', a day neutral plant which means they will produce well into October. The second crop has larger fruit, a heavier yield and is easier to maintain from pests. For now, I enjoy them straight from the garden, warmed by the sun. Another way to extend a small harvest is to use as a garnish for desserts or in Red Wine Syrup.
Fresh Strawberries in Red Wine Syrup Yield: 1/4 cup syrup
Use this fast and elegant syrup over Panna Cotta or Ice Cream.
1/2 cup red wine
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
Sliced fresh strawberries
Combine red wine and sugar in a *non-reactive pan. Stir and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Then simmer and reduce wine to half. Cool the red wine syrup then toss in the fresh strawberries until coated. Serve over panna cotta or with ice cream.
*Chef's Note: Non-reactive cookware is made from a material that will not react with acidic ingredients. The most common is a stainless steel finish that will not discolor or pit when used with acidic ingredients. Glass pots that can be used over direct heat are also non-reactive as are most non-stick coatings including 'Green non-stick'.
Materials to avoid when using acidic ingredients are unlined tin, unlined copper, raw aluminum and unseasoned cast iron.
To read more posts featuring my favorite berry, click on 'Strawberries' under 'Labels' in the right hand column of my Blog.
Till next week, Bon Appétit!
Photo by Sally Rae