"You won't find a better-tasting strawberry in your supermarket!" boasted local berry farmer, with arms folded behind his back, as if he were about to address the parliament.

His farm, a barren expanse of dirt, just weeks before, is now a canvas of perfectly red strawberries, that would rival a Cézanne painting.

As I merrily romped across the field, basket in one hand and camera in the other, eager to welcome the berries much-awaited arrival, I noticed my guys, 'J' and Mr. Man-pants, avoiding eye contact with me, and following not-so-closely behind. Strange people.

Trivial bothers aside, I came home with enough berries to please everyone. Some of the fruit was turned into an intensely-flavored strawberry sorbet, and the rest went into this strawberry soup.

I've never been a big fan of the color pink, but I may have to reconsider.

Too girly? You bet.
It is undeniably pink, and proudly so. Its clean, bright taste, captures the singular essence of summer.
But call it a smoothie, and I will give you such a pinch.

For the record, dear husband will gladly admit — with face pixelated and voice altered — that he likes it too.

Strawberry Soup

3 cups fresh strawberries
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1½ cups water
½ cup Rosé wine*

Slice strawberries, reserving some for garnish. Macerate strawberries and sugar a few hours or overnight, covered, in the refrigerator.
Place all ingredients in a blender, and purée until smooth. Put mixture through a fine strainer. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled before serving. Yield: 4 servings.

*Feel free to substitute a favorite, dry white wine for the crisp Rosé.

For the sorbet, it's important to taste the fruit before you begin, as you may not need all of the simple syrup called for. My MI. berries were so sweet, I left out the ¼ cup of syrup.
I also recommend straining the berry mixture, for a silky texture to this cool treat. If you don't mind the tiny seeds, omit this step.

Another tip: I like to use an immersion blender to aerate the fruit mixture prior to processing. It is not an essential step, but I think it makes a lighter product. Forgo this step and you'll still have a sorbet to sing about.

Strawberry Sorbet

2 pounds fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1¼ cups simple syrup, recipe follows

In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients and purée until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove all seeds.

Cover and chill the mixture thoroughly. Freeze in an ice cream maker, according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Simple syrup

1½ cups sugar

Combine sugar with one cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, and cook until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool completely before using. If not using right away, keep refrigerated until needed.

Wishes for a weekend full of romping, because trudging through life ain't fun.

Designs by Gollum's Foodie Fridays

Romantic Home's Show and Tell Friday


Asparagus Butter Risotto with Shrimp

Once upon a time there was a young boy, known as Mr. Man-Pants, who maintained a typical child's view toward vegetables.
His reason for avoiding most green foods? He feared he would "catch normal."

Well, I fainted dead away when, after years of trials and tribulations to get the boy to eat right, I noticed him happily packing away this, unquestionably emerald-green risotto, into his cheek pouches, without so much as a hissy fit, whining or crying — from me.

Finally! We have emerged victoriously from his Frankenfood phase, and wanted to share this highly momentous occasion (and the recipe) with you.

I've been making this dish for quite a few years, so I've had the opportunity to play with it a bit. For example, I've substituted spinach, and sometimes mint for the basil, with good results.
But let it be known, basil still trumps all other variations.

Asparagus Butter Risotto with Shrimp

4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
¾ pound asparagus, stems peeled, chopped and blanched, tips set aside
½ cup chopped basil leaves
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
½ cup white wine
4 cups Chicken Broth
16 large shrimp, cleaned, deveined, and roughly chopped *
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Basil or Rosemary sprigs, for garnish, optional

To make the asparagus butter: Place 3 tablespoons butter, the warm asparagus stems and the basil in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, and purée.

To make the risotto: Place a large, non-reactive stainless steel, nonstick or copper lined saucepan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add remaining tablespoon butter. Add the garlic and leek and cook until soft, about 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in the rice until well coated.

Add the wine and cook until absorbed. Add 2 cups Chicken Broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring with each addition, until all liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Add remaining 2 cups Chicken Broth, cook until the liquid is absorbed.

Add the asparagus tips, the asparagus butter, Parmesan cheese, shrimp, salt and pepper, stirring after each addition. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the shrimp turns pink and is just cooked through. Serves 4. Adapted from: The Figs Table by Todd English.

*Sometimes, I slow roast the shrimp whole, skewered with Rosemary sprigs, but this is, somewhat, for aesthetics.

Btw, the asparagus butter is also delicious over pasta, or polenta. Enjoy.

Before I sign out, let me introduce you to some of my tenants. Coo.

Judging by mama dove's expression, it was made perfectly clear that she would've pecked my head hollow, had I come any closer to her baby. So I respected her space, knowing the photo wouldn't be very clear.

Say Blogger, when will we be getting a HUG button?

I'll be joining:

Design by Gollum's Foodie Friday

Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking