June 18, 2013
Written by Robin Glowa
Tuesday, 08 June 2010 08:44
“What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.”
— Gertrude Jekyl
The great glory of summer begins in June, when plants grow lush and lovely. No damage has been inflicted yet by unrelenting insects or scarring from the searing heat of the sun.
Huge peonies crack open their perfect pink petals, the massive pom pons providing play areas for armies of tiny ants. In the strawberry fields, masses of crimson berries have ripened to sweet, succulent perfection.
Strawberries are one of the most delightful examples of nature’s candy. With their heavenly sweet scent, the fabulous flavor of just-plucked strawberries is truly intoxicating.
Picking strawberries is a summer tradition to be savored, as there is great joy in filling a basket with masses of mellifluous fruit. What a pleasant task, this gathering of fruit that will be turned into jams, cakes, cobblers, pie or shortcake. The methodical picking method of one for the basket and two for the mouth yields hands and lips deliciously stained with scarlet.
The intense sweetness of strawberries makes them one of the most popular fruits. Not only are they amazingly flavorful, strawberries provide a potent source of healthful benefits.
Strawberries contain phytonutrients known as phenols, which make them a heart protective, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory fruit all rolled into one. Strawberries are full of anthocyanins, which give them their great, glowing red color and provide antioxidant protection for cellular structures in the body. Flush with vitamin C, strawberries may be helpful in preventing macular degeneration and rheumatoid arthritis.
For all their magnificent flavor and powerful benefits, strawberries are quite delicate. A perishable fruit like strawberries should be used quickly, within days of purchasing or picking. When buying strawberries, look for vibrant color and bright green caps. Store in the refrigerator, and do not wash until ready to use.
Cherish every fantastic flavor of June as you prepare your delicious life.
4 cups fresh strawberries, (washed, dried, hulled and cut into halves or quarters, depending on size)
2 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup freshly whipped cream
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Place cut strawberries in a bowl. Combine brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, a pinch of black pepper; and pour over strawberries.
Cover bowl and place in refrigerator to macerate for about an hour.
Combine mascarpone cheese, whipped cream, brown sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir until well mixed and nicely smooth.
Divide berries among four pretty dishes, and top with mascarpone mixture. Garnish with whole strawberries, lemon peel, mint leaves, edible flowers or whatever you like.
Robin Glowa, HHC, AADP, is a passionate food and wellness enthusiast who earned her certification in holistic health counseling from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Columbia University Teachers College.
She specializes in teaching healthy cooking classes for children and adults, as well as cooking presentations and wellness workshops for many local organizations.
For more information go to theconsciouscook.net , call 203-393-1037 or http://confessionsofaconsciouscook.blogspot.com.
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