Simple Strawberry Butter

Strawberry Butter

Strawberry season is upon us! This is a cause for celebration and a great excuse to enjoy strawberries with every meal! Here’s a simple recipe to use up your super ripe strawberries. I’ve made a couple batches of this – one for immediate use and another tucked in the freezer to enjoy this winter when I’m longing for sunnier days. Enjoy your strawberry butter on biscuits, pancakes, in between layers of cake, or any other way you can think of! For an extra special treat add some herbs to your butter or a dash of rose water.

Ingredients:

6-8 very ripe strawberries
2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pinch of salt
optional: 1 teaspoon of leaves from several sprigs of thyme, fresh chopped basil, or fresh chopped mint OR 1/2 teaspoon of rosewater

Method:

  1. Roughly chop or mash your strawberries with a wooden spoon.
  2. Place strawberries in a stand mixer and turn on medium speed. Once the strawberries are well macerated, turn of the mixer and add your butter and salt. Turn mixer on high and whip until the strawberries and butter are well combined. Note: you may want to hold up a dish towel or place some plastic wrap around your mixer to prevent strawberry juice from splashing everything in the near vicinity.
  3. If using herbs or rosewater, stir them into the butter at the end.
  4. Roll your butter into a log using parchment paper and refrigerate or place in the freezer. Enjoy!
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Parsley & Anchovy Dressing

Parsley DressingWith all the wonderful spring greens we’ve been getting from the CSA, it’s nice to have some simple dressings up your sleeve. This is a basic recipe that can easily be modified to utilize a variety of herbs: parsley, mint, cilantro, and lemon balm are all great choices. I’ve made a note to leave the leaves attached to the stems-  the stems have great flavor and make a delicious addition to the dressing. We’ve been enjoying it with massaged kale and beets lately. Have fun playing with all the different flavor combinations!

Ingredients:

1 garlic clove
4 anchovy fillets
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup lemon juice or white wine vinegar
1/2 bunch of parsley or other herbs including the stems

Method:

  1. In a food processor, pulse the garlic and anchovies until minced.
  2. Add the yogurt and lemon juice or vinegar and blend until combined.
  3. Add the parsley and pulse until minced. Take care not to over process the parsley otherwise the color may change into a drab green.
  4. Toss spring greens with the dressing or use it as a dipping sauce for crudites or artichokes!

Cauliflower and Cardamom Soup

Cauliflower SoupHappy First Day of June! As seems to be typical in Seattle, the first day of the month greeted us with rain and in my book that calls for a simple weeknight soup.

A note about dried spices: the longer you keep them in your cupboard, the less potent they become. I always buy whole spices and when I need them, I grind them in a repurposed coffee grinder. This ensures the spices will have more flavor. If you insist on using that old bottle of cardamom from the back of the pantry, you may find that you need to add a bit extra to this recipe.

In this recipe I dry roast the cauliflower before adding it to the soup. This caramelizes it a bit first, giving it a lovely rich flavor.

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower, leaves removed, head & stem chopped into bite sized pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 pinch lavender
32 oz chicken or vegetable stock
1 lime, juiced
salt to taste
sour cream & cilantro for garnish

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400*. Place chopped cauliflower on a baking sheet and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Place it in the oven and cook until edges of cauliflower are lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile in a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat and add the onions. Sweat the onions until they become translucent. Add the garlic, cardamom, and lavender and stir until they become aromatic.
  3. Add the cauliflower and chicken/veg stock. Bring everything to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup (or blend in a traditional blender in several batches according to the blender’s hot liquid capacity).
  5. Once the soup is blended, stir in the lime juice and season with salt to your tastes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of cilantro or parsley.

Modifications: This soup would also work well if you replaced the cauliflower with celery root or parsnips. Have fun!