STRAWBERRY SALSA + A Simple Summer Tiramisu

December 16, 2019

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*This is my last recipe post for four weeks as it is time for some R&R with my little family. Thank you for your support this year for my cooking workshops, cookbooks and projects – it truly means a lot for this one-woman band. Wishing you a safe and delicious holiday season and see you in 2020! 

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Summer is here and with it, the perfectly timed berries are ripening in the garden and lining the market stalls. This is such an exciting time of year when it comes to fresh produce choice, I can almost taste the white-fleshed peaches that are my all-time favourite summer produce.

I am sharing two simple strawberry recipes this week, as I know we are heading into that crazy time where quick and easy is a blessing. The salsa was inspired by a recent trip to the Horowhenua, where I joined passionate foodies to experience the bountifulness of the area. What a day it was on the Horowhenua Taste Trail. The sun shone, there wasn’t a breath of wind, and we were treated to a plethora of fresh produce and local products.

One of the (many) highlights was a strawberry salsa served with barbecued jumbo asparagus at Lewis Farms near Levin. My take on the salsa is a little different, with the addition of sweet cherry tomatoes and fresh basil as coriander has well and truly gone to seed in my garden.

The second recipe is the simplest of desserts, a summer tiramisu. It’s another recipe inspired by my culinary adventure in Italy this year. We spent several days in Florence and joined a pasta-making class followed by a fabulous summer feast. This dessert was the perfect finish. It couldn’t be easier, takes no more than 15 minutes to prepare, and can be made with any number of the summer fruits arriving at the markets. Happy summer days ahead.

Strawberry & Cherry Tomato Salsa

I served this on a platter with corn chips and guacamole, but it would also be lovely as a topping for barbecued summer vegetables. Black pepper and strawberries are great mates, so be generous with the pepper mill, or add chopped red chilli for a real kick.
Servings 2 cups
Prep Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup strawberries, trimmed and chopped into 1cm cubes
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped into 1cm cubes
  • ¼ red onion, finely chopped
  • A handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • Juice of half lime or lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and cracked pepper to season
  • To garnish: coriander flowers

Instructions

  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Check the seasoning, adding another twist of cracked pepper and extra lime juice if needed. Serve immediately, garnished with the coriander flowers.

15-Minute Summer Tiramisu

A packet of Italian sponge fingers (savoiardi/ladyfingers) has become quite the pantry staple since my trip to Italy. They keep well, wrapped and in a sealed container, for several months. Preferably choose the plain variety without the granulated sugar coating if you have the choice. This summer tiramisu is a lighter version using cream and yoghurt rather than heavier mascarpone.
Servings 4
Prep Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups strawberries or a 250g punnet, trimmed and chopped into 1cm cubes (or other summer berries and stone fruit)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • Half a glass of prosecco or sparkling wine*
  • 200 ml cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar or maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp natural unsweetened yoghurt
  • 8 Italian sponge fingers (ladyfingers)

*For a non-alcoholic option use soda water and elderflower syrup or similar.

    Instructions

    • Combine the strawberry cubes, sugar, lemon juice and prosecco or sparkling wine in a bowl, muddle around to macerate a little, then set aside.
    • Whip the cream and sweetener until soft peaks form. Add the yoghurt and whip again until thick. Spoon half of the cream into four serving glasses.
    • Strain the strawberries in a sieve set over a bowl to collect the liquid. Break the sponge fingers in half and quickly dip into the liquid. Arrange four halves into each glass. Top with half of the strawberries followed by another layer of cream, and scatter with the remaining strawberries. Serve immediately or chill for up to an hour.

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