As we enter into Week 4 of CSA distribution, we are still enjoying a steady harvest of strawberries, as well as a bountiful crop of peas for Pick-Your-Own (PYO).
For this week’s pickup, look forward to…
- Swiss Chard
- Spring Onions
- Garlic Scapes
- Peas (PYO)
Remember that Monday is fish pickup for those of you with fish.
We are now selling pasture raised beef from the Trustees of the Reservation in addition to honey, maple syrup, and spices.
In a previous occupation, I was employed at a fairly prestigious donut shop based out of Somerville. One of the shop’s signature donuts is a raised donut covered in a brown butter glaze, which is then tossed in toasted hazelnuts. The result being one of the most edifying eating experiences available to mortals. With that said, I feel responsible for carrying on the brown butter tradition wherever I go. On this occasion, the tradition manifested itself in Strawberry Brown Butter Bars.
Now before one dismisses brown butter as overly complicated hipster necromancy, checkout this link that nicely demonstrates the process of browning butter. It is fairly straightforward; as long as you keep an eye on the butter so it doesn’t burn, keep in mind that it is brown butter, not blackened butter. The end result can add deep toffee and nutty qualities to baked goods and other dishes.
For the most part, I did not alter the original recipe very much. Instead of cherries, I used our amazing strawberries and for the crust, I threw in some sage from our raised beds while I was browning the butter. Overall, I was pleased with how the recipe turned out. I expected the strawberries to be on the juicy side, but I could not resist using them. Albeit, the end result wasn’t the prettiest, it sure was tasty.
The finished product hot from the oven.
Pouring the brown butter batter over the berries.
Strawberries are fickle and ephemeral. In one day, strawberries can pop from a field of green on green, to one afloat with the deep red of ripe berries. In the same amount of time, these tender berries can be picked over by birds, bugs, beasts, and berry mad farmers.
If the anxiety of waiting for the berries to ripen is overwhelming, then try this preemptive recipe to alleviate the tension.
Pickled Green Berries
- 1 pint of green strawberries, washed and hulled
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon celery seed
- ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
- pinch of red pepper flakes (if you want add a little heat)
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons honey or sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt or pickling salt
- Clean and dry a jar big enough to hold all the strawberries. Fill the jar with the washed and hulled green strawberries, packing them tightly together. Add the black peppercorns, bay leaves, celery seeds, caraway seeds, yellow mustard seeds and red pepper flakes (if using) over the top of the strawberries. Set the jar aside while you prepare the brine.
- In a saucepan over low heat add the vinegars, water, honey and sea salt. Gently simmer until the honey and salt has dissolved. Set the mixture aside until it has cooled completely. Pour the mixture over the green strawberries (if it doesn’t completely cover the strawberries you will need to make more brine). Cover the jar and give it a few gentle shakes to move all the spices around a bit. Refrigerate the green strawberries for at least a few days before using.
- NOTE: Normally you would add the brine while it was still hot, but for this recipe you want it to cool down so the strawberries don’t become mushy and chewy.