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Chilled Strawberry Pasta Salad
1 cup (250ml) good olive oil
1/3 cup (85ml) aged balsamic vinegar
1/3 x 250g punnet strawberries, washed and hulled
Cracked black pepper
2 cups cooked penne pasta, cooled
2/3 x 250g punnet strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
4 large buffalo mozzarella, torn (or large bocconcini)
2 cups baby spinach leaves, washed
1/2 cup basil leaves, washed and torn
Whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Puree the dressing strawberries and pass through a sieve, then whisk into the oil mixture. Taste and season with cracked pepper. To prepare salad, toss pasta, strawberries, mozzarella and spinach in a large bowl with dressing. Allow to sit for 10 minutes then serve on a large plate. Top with torn basil leaves.
Wine Match: Light Pinot Noir
Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream
Makes 1.5L ice cream
1 x 250g punnet strawberries, washed and hulled
1/3 cup castor sugar
1 tbsp Grand Marnier or fresh orange juice
1L good quality commercial vanilla bean ice cream
1 cup extra castor sugar
2 cups chopped hazelnuts
Extra 250g punnet strawberries, washed and hulled to serve
Place the strawberries, sugar and Grand Marnier into a heavy based saucepan and simmer until the sugar is dissolved completely. Set aside to cool, then puree and place in the refrigerator until cold. Remove the ice cream from the punnet, soften slightly and fold in the chilled strawberry puree. Refreeze until firm.
To make toffee praline place extra sugar in a small heavy based pan and allow to dissolve completely and cool slightly. Sprinkle hazelnuts onto a lined baking tray, drizzle with cooled sugar (toffee) and allow to set hard, then crack into shards.
To serve, scoop ice cream into balls and serve in cones, sprinkle with toffee praline and strawberry topping. Great for birthday parties!
To make sundaes, place some extra chilled puree in the base of a tall sundae glass. Top with fresh strawberries, then a big scoop of the Strawberry Ripple Ice Cream. Top with more fresh berries, then another scoop of ice cream and sprinkle with toffee praline. Serve immediately.
Wine Match: Crisp Riesling or Sparkling Wine
Strawberry and Oat Loaf
100g unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 x 250g punnet strawberries, washed and hulled (fresh or frozen and thawed)
1/2cup rolled oats
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp extra butter
1 cup walnuts
Maple syrup and extra strawberries to serve
Preheat oven to 180°C. Cream the butter and sugar and add mashed strawberries and oats. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl, then gently fold through strawberry mixture. Pour into a greased (21cm x 6.5cm x 9cm) loaf pan then place in the preheated oven. Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes away clean. Allow to cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then turn out. Slice and serve warm or cold. For a great breakfast option, toast thick slices of the strawberry loaf. Panfry walnuts lightly in butter, then spoon over toast with a drizzle of maple syrup and extra berries.
Wine Match: Sparkling Wine or Rich Coffee
Chicken and Strawberry Mexican Salad
4 tortilla wrappers, roughly sliced
Spray olive oil
2 tsp cumin seeds combined with 2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups roasted chicken meat, torn roughly
1 x 250g punnet strawberries, washed, hulled and halved
1 baby cos lettuce, washed and torn
1 large avocado, diced
1 cup corn kernels (fresh and blanched or canned)
1 cup washed coriander leaves
Juice of one large or 2 small limes
1 tbsp olive oil
Cracked black pepper
Sour cream to serve
Pre heat oven to 160°C. Coat tortilla wrappers in a little spray oil on one side, then lightly dust with the cumin seeds and powder. Place on a lined oven tray and bake until crisp (~ 10 mins). Keep warm. Combine the chicken, strawberries, lettuce, avocado, corn and coriander in a large bowl. Mix together the remaining cumin, lime juice, oil and cracked pepper, then toss through the salad. Serve the salad in 4 individual bowls, with crisp tortilla strips and a dollop of sour cream.
Wine Match: Mexican Beer or Chardonnay
These recipes and prizes are courtesy of the Victorian Strawberry Industry: www.vicstrawberry.com.au.