Aaaah. Summer is almost here.
Our wonderful farmers market has opened and I can sense the anticipation of the future harvests finding their way to my table. Tomatoes, berries, basil, cucumbers and, of course, MELON!
We are going to have such a good time here on Food For Thought over then next few months. I am going to make a deal with you all. During May and June I will shop the local farmers market, find an ingredient we all need to know more about, and pass on the recipes. What do you all say?
I know I have done strawberries before, but I noticed that the local strawberry stands are sharing their bounty with our community. Really, who can pass up one of those delightful white stands?
This week we will make one of my favorite family treats: granita.
What is Granita? Well, it is basically a water ice; a cross between a sorbet and a slushy, if you will. Granitas are great for a refreshingly light dessert, or as a guiltless treat on the approaching hot summer days.
Try this with melons, or even left-over coffee. I have even made this with champagne, or a white wine, but keep that from the kiddies, please.
Andrea’s Strawberry Granita1 pound sliced hulled strawberries (about 1 2/3 cups) 3/4 cup of sugar Pinch of salt 1 1/2 cups cold water 1/4 cup fresh orange juice 1 teaspoon balsamic (this is optional, but fantastic)
Puree strawberries, sugar and salt in processor, an emulsion blender, or push through a sieve until smooth. Add the water and orange juice and mix to blend. Strain into an 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking pan. Cover with foil and place in the freezer.
Stir with a fork every hour until frozen, about 4 hours. Place a scoop of your beautiful granita in a fancy glass and serve to your adoring family and friends. Garnish with a few whole berries. Lovely!
Andrea Charroin was a trained baker and pastry chef in San Francisco before she, her husband Westley, and their two sons moved to Redding nine years ago. After falling in love with Redding’s downtown, Andrea and Westley opened a little pastry shop, Rene-Joule Patisserie, across from the Cascade Theatre. For the three years Rene-Joule was in business, it was renowned for making everything from scratch, using the best ingredients and keeping with a seasonal menu. To this day, Andrea is still asked about her Marathon Bars, Orange Twists and sourdough bread.
Copyright 2008 Andrea R. Charroin