May 14, 2014 10:14:36 AM
While the Suzuki Strings played in the background, I wandered around the Hitching Lot Farmers' Market in Columbus Saturday and bought some tomatoes and strawberries. We are still betwixt and between seasons, but what could be better than tomatoes and strawberries?
And we should have strawberries for a little longer than usual. Vendors M.C. Ellis has them now and Benny Yarbrough says he will start picking for this Saturday.
Let me review a few key things about strawberries: Do not wash them before refrigerating; clean them as you use them. Keep them in the bin or drawer in the refrigerator, which has increased humidity and lower air circulation. And, for the health-conscious, strawberries are high, very high, in vitamin C and high in manganese and fiber.
Of course, eating raw, fresh strawberries is the easiest and freshest way to go, but, let's talk recipes. The first is from Ronni Lundy. In 2009 she was the recipient of the Southern Foodways Alliance Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also been nominated for two James Beard awards for her writing. The second recipe is from Hugh Acheson of Athens, Georgia. A Canadian by birth, Hugh came to Athens over a decade ago and now has restaurants in Athens and Atlanta. Do not be intimidated by this two-time James Beard Foundation award winner, the recipe is deceptively simple.
Anne Freeze enjoys good food and loves to cook. She was a restaurant general manager and owner of a gourmet food store before moving to Columbus. She can be reached at [email protected]
STRAWBERRY ROMANOFF ICEBOX TARTS
Makes 6 servings
For the crust:
Vanilla wafers to make 3/4 cup of fine crumbs (about 18)
1/8 cup blanched almond pieces
1/8 cup sugar
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
For the filling:
12 large, ripe strawberries
14 ounces fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 cup sour cream
(Source: "Butterbeans to Blackberries: Recipes from the Southern Garden," by Ronnie Lundy)
SAUTEED STRAWBERRIES WITH BLACK PEPPER
Makes 4 servings
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pints strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns
1 shot Cointreau (brand of triple sec)
Fresh mint cut into chiffonnade (finely cut into long thin strips), for garnish
(Source: "A New Turn in the South," by Hugh Acheson)