We think of this vibrant dish as a cousin to guacamole—a chunky, sweet one. Feel free to substitute liberally. By all means add cilantro if you have it, or chopped spinach. Tomato or peaches add to the fun. Maybe something crunchy besides the radish, like diced jicama or daikon per chance? Whatever you do, don’t forget the chips—or warm corn tortillas—for scooping.
Granita is Italian, though the flavors in this icy bowlful are authentically Mexican. Think of it like a frozen strawberry-lime agua fresca—loaded with fresh fruit. This dessert is perfect for a hot, lazy day—you’ll need to be freezer-side for a couple of hours, though the task is simple. Grab a book. Curl up on the couch. Set the timer for 20 minute intervals to “rake” your iced treat, and when it’s done serve up a cool, refreshing scoop. Maybe two.
Roasting fan that I am, of course I had to try this recipe – adapted from a great cookbook and blog writer, Heidi Swanson (Super Natural Every Day).
- 8 ounces small to medium strawberries, hulled
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp fine-grain sea salt
- ½-1 Tbsp high quality, aged balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each berry in half (or quarters if large). Place into a mixing bowl. In a small bowl mix together syrup, olive oil and salt. Pour over berries and gently toss to coat.
- Arrange in a single layer in a glass or ceramic baking dish. Roast for about 40 min or just long enough for juices to thicken but not burn. Remove from the oven and scrape berries with juice into a bowl. Stir in balsamic vinegar. Serve hot, or cooled to room temperature. Great on a flaky scone or biscuit. Try on toasted artisan bread with some goat or cream cheese and chopped fresh mint or lime zest sprinkled on top.
The sweet/acidic flavor of balsamic vinegar pairs nicely with fruits, especially ripe, fresh berries. Be sure to use aged vinegar, one that is thick and aromatic. You’ll pay, but the investment is well worth every penny.
- 1 pint ripe strawberries
- 2 Tbsp turbinado sugar
- 2 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Rinse berries, hull and slice or quarter. Place into a bowl with sugar and vinegar. Stir and allow melding for about one hour.
- Grind a bit of pepper over the top, stir and serve over vanilla ice cream or on shortcake with whipped cream.
This simple salad is elegant and unusual but quick to prepare. Serve it at a party and your guests will be impressed. Substitute lettuce if you prefer, for the fresh spinach or throw in some arugula for a nice bite. Try adding other seasonal berries such as blackberries or raspberries. Sometimes I substitute toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for a nutritious and different crunch.