Grocery Club Supper # 4: Pear, Parmesan and Roasted Strawberry Salad, Carrots and Lime-Chili Butter.
Hello Grocery Clubbers. Do you have any produce left from last week, or are you already engrossed in this week’s bag? Perhaps there is a pear or two remaining, or the bottom row of strawberries, and maybe you have not yet gotten to the red lettuce. Did you eat both bags of brand new orange and yellow carrots, so sweet you could almost slice them onto the breakfast granola and cover them with yogurt, or do you have one bag left? If so, please read on, and hear my apologies for the lateness of this post.
A wedding in Abbotsford intervened, a wedding that brought together two large and loving Canadian families, one that originated in the Ukraine, the other in Holland. For three days we feasted and laughed and undertook adventures, adventures that included hammock-buying on Granville Island, roaming the streets of a gated community and swooshing down the powdery slopes of Mount Baker. We made 53 new friends, heartily endorsed the choices of both bride and groom and I am going home with a smart new felt hat. Ooh la la!
This late post, dear produce clubbers, is being tapped out on a laptop enroute to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Yes, I am not only late but remiss. There will be no supper this week, you are on your own. Instead I will regale you with tales of oysters and artisanal cheese, of happy lambs and local wines and other culinary excitements yet to be discovered in the wilds of Parksville, where errant members of my family have now relocated.
But here in the meantime are two tardy ideas for your pears, your lettuce, your carrots, your limes and your strawberries. I hope you will find them useful, if not now, sometime soon. Strawberry season is not far. Note to Yukoners: do not roast wild strawberries. They are too precious. Roast instead the hothouse variety, organic or otherwise, whose beauty outlaps their flavour.
Pear, Parmesan and Roasted Strawberry Salad
2 Bartlett pears
2 tbsp. (30 ml) birch syrup
1 tbsp. (15 ml) balsamic vinegar
2 cups (480 ml) whole strawberries
½ head of red leaf lettuce
¼ red onion, sliced thinly
½ cup (125 ml) hazelnuts
Shavings of parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. (30 ml) balsamic vinegar
6 tbsp. (90 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. (5 ml) maple or birch syrup
1 tsp (5 ml) soya sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Wash and hull the strawberries and slice in half lengthwise. Combine birch syrup and balsamic vinegar, pour over the strawberries and gently toss. Spread the strawberries on a baking sheet. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until slightly brown and caramelized at the edges. Remove from oven and cool.
2) Roast the hazelnuts in the same oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, cool for 5 minutes then rub together in a tea towel to remove the skins. Not all the skin will come off; no matter.
3) Make the vinaigrette—combine first four ingredients in a jar and shake or whisk until emulsified. Add the crushed garlic and let sit.
4) Cut the pears in half, core and cut each half into six slim slices.
5) Wash and dry the lettuce and lay one large leaf on each of four salad plates. Tear the remainder into bite-sized pieces. Toss with half the vinaigrette.
6) Arrange the pear, onion and strawberries on top of the lettuce and sprinkle with hazelnuts. Drizzle the assembly on each plate with the remaining vinaigrette.
7) Take a vegetable peeler and shave curls of parmesan off the block onto each plate.
Carrots with Lime-Chili Butter
1 lb (454 gr) new yellow and orange carrots
¼ cup (60 ml) butter
Zest and juice of one lime
2 chili peppers, crushed
1) Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk in lime juice, lime zest and crushed chili peppers. Cook for 10 minutes.
2) Top and tail the carrots, wash in cold water and place in a saucepan. Boil a kettle of water, pour over carrots, bring to the boil over high heat, turn heat to medium low and cook for a scant three minutes. Drain.
3) Arrange carrots in a serving dish and pour lime butter over top. Serve immediately.