Sinfully Simple Strawberry Sorbet

Ahhh – the local strawberries are finally here at the Co-op!

I must say that they seem extra good this year, but that could just be because we had to wait so long for them to ripen.

In honor of the holiday weekend, I wanted my recipe demo to feature these beautiful berries, but I wanted to make something other than the standard strawberry shortcake.  There are a ton of interesting recipes out there utilizing strawberries (including the delicious spinach and strawberry salad I demo’d a few weeks ago), and I wanted something that would be simple to make on a weekend when so many of us gather for barbecues and other festivities.

I found a winner with Strawberry Sorbet.  I have a tiny kitchen at home, so I always look for recipes that don’t need special equipment.  I found a winner on Food.com – not only did it only have 3 ingredients, but you don’t need an ice cream maker.

This recipe is so simple – all you do is wash and de-stem the strawberries, freeze them, then add them to the blender or food processor with a little sugar (or any sweetener) and a little water and then back into the freezer.  I only needed to use about 3 T of sugar instead of the 5 the recipe calls for.  Somehow it seems almost wrong that something this easy could taste so fantastic!  I’m exited to try this recipe with each berry as it comes in season – the only thing I might do extra is run the berry pulp through a mesh strainer to remove some of the seeds before the second freeze.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday, and get those local strawberries while they are fresh and juicy!

Strawberry Sorbet © 2011 Sassy Sampler

 Sinfully Simple Strawberry Sorbet

Makes about 3 cups / (6) ½ cup servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 quart (2 pints) fresh strawberries
  • ~5 T sugar or other sweetener
  • ~1/4 c water or juice

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prep berries (wash and de-stem).  Arrange them in a single layer in the largest tray that will fit in your freezer.  Cut larger berries in half so they all freeze evenly.  Taste your berries so you have an idea about how sweet they are.
  2. Freeze until hard (about 2 hours).
  3. Place frozen berries and about half the sugar in a food processor or blender and pulse until fruit is broken up.  Taste the pulp to see if you need to add more sugar/sweetener.
  4. Add water (or juice) and continue processing until you have a smooth puree.
  5. Transfer to a container/freezer bag* and freeze for about 2 hours, or until firm enough to scoop.  Stir the mixture a few times while it is freezing (every 30 minutes or so).
  6. If you let it freeze overnight, let it sit out for half an hour  and then stir it before serving—it will need to soften up a bit.

* The more you can spread out the sorbet when you put it in the freezer for the second freeze, the faster it will harden.

Any sweetener (or none, depending on the sweetness of the berries and your personal tastes/diet) will work in this recipe.  Be aware that some sweeteners have stronger flavors that sugar, so keep that in mind when you are adding them to the puree.

You can very easily double or triple this recipe—you are only limited by how large your food processor is! (or how many batches you want to make)

This will keep in the freezer for a few weeks, tightly sealed.  Let it sit on the counter for 20-30 minutes, stir, and serve.

Sinfully Simple Strawberry Sorbet PDF

Spinach and Strawberry Daiquiri Salad

This week while searching for a recipe to sample for customers, I came across an intriguing sounding one, once again sourced from Yummly. If you haven’t checked out this website yet you really should – you can set up a profile where you can list foods you are allergic/intolerant of, foods you just don’t like, and whether you are following a specific diet (vegan, etc.). Once you have your profile set up, you can search for recipes using filters that will only show ones that fit the bill. You can also search the recipes according to taste (salty, sweet, savory, etc.), cuisine, preparation time, and course, as well as enter ingredients (one at a time) that you already have and it will find recipes to fit those parameters. You can also post photos of the dishes you make (I submitted a photo of the pesto I made last week and you can now find it on their website). It really is the best recipe website I have run across.

I found a recipe for Spinach and Strawberry Daiquiri Salad, and knew I had to try it. We currently have local bulk baby spinach (the same as I used for the Spinach Pesto last week), and some beautiful California strawberries (we won’t see local strawberries for a couple of weeks as least – check out the article in this month’s Co-op Community News). The recipe originally came from Allrecipes and had gotten really great reviews.

This is a really festive salad that would be great for summer potlucks (and the recipe is large enough to serve a small crowd) – the bright green of the spinach mixed with the vibrant red of the strawberries makes your mouth water, and everyone will be pleasantly surprised at the complexity of its flavor.

The daiquiri inspiration comes not from alcohol, but from the honey-lime dressing and toasted unsweetened coconut flakes (although if you were going to an adults-only potluck, a shot of tequila or rum might be a fun addition to the dressing!). The salad also includes some lightly candied almonds to add a little crunch and to compliment the sweetness of the strawberries. While the combinations may sound a little strange, everyone who tried it loved it, and someone even said it was the best salad ever!

As for execution, it was pretty simple to make, although more involved than tossing together a green salad. You have to candy the sliced almonds, which takes about 10 minutes (watch that you don’t heat the sugar too fast or it will form hard little sugar nuggets that will break someone’s tooth!) and you have to toast the coconut flakes (unless you have access to toasted flaked coconut, but it is a really simple process nonetheless). A little slicing and dicing, and you have the perfect summer celebration salad!

Spinach and Strawberry Daiquiri Salad Photo © Sassy Sampler 2011

Spinach and Strawberry Daiquiri Salad

INGREDIENTS

Dressing:

  • 1/4 c lime juice
  • 1/4 c honey (use agave syrup if you are vegan)
  • 1/4 t poppy seeds
  • 1/4 t Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 c canola oil

Candied Almonds:

  • 1 c sliced almonds
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 c sugar

Salad:

  • ~ 10 oz baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 1 # strawberries, sliced
  • 1 c flaked coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine the almonds, salt and sugar in a large skillet.  Stir constantly (especially once sugar starts to melt) over medium heat until the almonds are light golden brown and sugar has melted, about 10 minutes.  Remove nuts from the skillet to cool.
  2. Wipe out the skillet.  Toast the coconut flakes over medium-low heat until lightly toasted.  Remove coconut from skillet to cool.
  3. Combine the lime juice, honey (or agave), poppy seeds, and mustard in a small bowl.  Slowly whisk in the oil and set aside.
  4. Toss the spinach, strawberries, coconut, onions, and cooled almonds in a large bowl.
  5. Top with prepared dressing, and toss to coat.

You can also make the salad ahead of time: toss spinach, strawberries and onions in a large bowl and refrigerate.  When you are ready to serve, add the coconut, almonds and dressing and toss.

Spinach and Strawberry Daiquiri Salad PDF