Plantboy didn't trust me at first when he brought all of those delightful ripe berries in the house from the garden and I wanted to do more than just wash them and throw them on the table, but he learned to trust me. And you should too.
Not Yo Momma's Fruit Salad
* 2 cups of fruit in any combination of the following--kiwi (Zespri brand only, please), blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and/or raspberries
* 1/2 cup good quality balsamic vinegar (Costco actually sells an excellent one)
* 4 Tbsp white sugar
* Crumbled feta cheese
About an hour before serving, make a balsamic vinegar reduction by combining the sugar and the vinegar over low-medium heat, whisking frequently until the mixture thickens slightly. Take some time on this: you don't want to burn/crystallize the mixture. You want to just steam the moisture out of it. You also don't want to reduce it TOO much because then you end up with syrup. That is actually quite awesome too, but you want something that will cool to a dressing texture, not a solid.
When your reduction begins sticking to a spoon, put it in the fridge to cool. Slice larger fruit (strawberries and kiwi) into bite-sized chunks and toss it with the smaller fruit. Drizzle cool dressing down over the top and let it sit for about ten minutes before serving. The fruit will begin to lose some of its moisture to the dressing and make it fruity and tangy at the same time.
Just before serving, sprinkle the top with feta. (The cheese isn't as pretty if it absorbs the dressing.)
Spoon the fruit over the top of pound cake, then drizzle generous portions of the dressing/syrup over the whole thing.
Dip anything you have on hand into the reduction. It is my new favorite thing.
The garden has been my best friend this week. Wednesday it was a delightful all-vegetable dinner--creamed peas with sweet onions over new potatoes, roasted golden beets and tri-colored carrots, salad from the garden. The night I served the above it was with bacon spaghetti (using Plantboy's canned Italian Tomatoes and loads of fresh basil) with lemon rosemary bread. Since I cannot get the balsamic vinegar reduction or my new crepe pan out of my head, Sunday is going to be grilled chicken and roasted vegetable crepes drizzled with the stuff with a side of caprese salad and green beans. And next time you have a hamburger, you must (MUST) add a thick slice of roasted red or golden beet to the top. It tastes like Australia.
I suddenly feel so hungry.