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Strawberries are hitting their peak all over the southern United States. While the north still has berry goodness to come, I took the opportunity to head to a local berry farm to pick berries, and then create a four-course dinner featuring one of the nation’s most celebrated fruits. From jam to cake, risotto to steak, this is a menu to keep on hand for any future strawberry seasons.
Since moving to Texas, one of my most favorite places to visit is Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls. Each spring we make the drive to pick their luscious strawberries. For a small amount of bending and stooping we’re rewarded with plenty of sun-warmed berries and pink-stained fingers.
A few of my foodie friends and I had already been discussing a trip out to the farm and a Tasty Tour was set up for what turned out to be the same Saturday as the Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 for April. Considering I had just done the event in March, imagine my surprise when my proposal was selected! I set to work finalizing my menu and obsessively checking the strawberry report for berry conditions.
Friday night we were hit with a strong storm (with the power going out!) and I started to worry it would be raining all of Saturday. However, when I awoke the sun was shining with not a cloud in the sky. It was going to be a great day for picking berries! In our four years of picking berries, I think this year was the best. The season started a bit later, resulting in a TON of berries that were ready to be picked. It was muddy and puddle-y from the night before, and lots of ripe berries were to be had next to the waters, but there really were berries everywhere. We filled our two boxes, about 11 pounds worth of berries, at a record pace.
The mud didn’t bother people, as many just took off their shoes and socks and picked berries barefooted! I can understand why – picking berries gets a little addictive. Even when your box is full and you decide to leave, you see just one more red jewel in among the leaves… I was trying to convince my husband we should pick another boxful just because there were so. many. berries. in the fields but he (probably wisely) resisted my prodding.
Once we were back at the house I set to work creating the ultimate strawberry dinner.
Strawberry Goat Cheese & Basil Cigars
Grass-fed Sirloin Steak with Strawberry Pepper Sauce
The dinner was a success! Even my pastry chef friends graciously declared the dessert to be yummy – but of course, you can’t really go wrong with strawberries and cake!
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Strawberry Goat Cheese & Basil Cigars
- 4 sheets phyllo dough, thawed and cut into 8 rectangles
- 16 oz chèvre
- 4 strawberries, diced
- 3 basil leaves, sliced thinly
- Salt, pepper
- Olive oil, butter, or spray for dough
- Heat oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix together chèvre, berries, and basil until thoroughly combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Separate sheets of dough and lightly brush each with olive oil and reassemble. Arrange 1 tablespoon of filling at the edge of each rectangle, then roll up tightly. Pinch the ends together slightly to avoid leakage (although if it does, you can just sneakily shove the chèvre back into the dough with a spoon).
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, until crispy.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.
Thanks to Foodbuzz for letting my share my strawberries with you!
I focus on fresh ingredients and easy methods, with spins that keep meals interesting. Dinnertime shouldn’t be stressful or complicated, and I’m here to help you enjoy the time spent in the kitchen. Read more…