Florida is on its own schedule when it comes to growing seasons, and we usually have our local strawberries in March. This year’s strawberry crop was especially abundant, a field of ruby-red like I’ve never seen it before. We went strawberry picking at the nearby organic farm and ended up gathering way more of the sun-ripened beauties than we initially planned. We took home enough to enjoy fresh for a week and froze the rest. Soon after, Roost Books sent me Emma’s beautiful cookbook, My Darling Lemon Thyme – Recipes from My Real Food Kitchen, and all stars aligned for me to make her Strawberry Thai Basil Sorbet.
I waited a bit to share this until strawberry season kicked off in northern climates, and when I saw strawberries being sold at the Union Square Greenmarket while visiting NYC last weekend, I knew it was finally time.
Aside from eating them just as they are, nothing showcases seasonal fresh berries more than homemade sorbet. One of the things I adore about Emma’s cooking style is her love of fresh herbs. Just like her, I often include herbs in sweet dishes, it’s a little trick to turn many ordinary desserts into a completely unique and memorable treat. The inclusion of Thai basil in this recipe is genius and makes this creamy sorbet even more refreshing, aromatic and summery. It’s also hard to believe that this intense crimson colour comes just from strawberries – a real show stopper.
As the heat approaches, My Darling Lemon Thyme offers a nice collection of easy frozen desserts, like Watermelon, Rose and Mint Icepops, No Churn Banana Berry Ice Cream and dreamy Chocolate Cream Pops. The breakfast chapter includes such gems as Tahini, Orange and Coconut Toasted Muesli, creamy porridges, crepes and pancakes. When I turned the page to the Raspberry, Dark Chocolate and Pistachio Brownies, I knew I had to make them right away and have several times since then – they came out perfect every time.
The savory dishes in the book are just as exciting, ranging from flavorful salads and soups to big dinner plates, all influenced by various cuisines and utilizing the most beautiful array of vegetables, grains, legumes, spices and herbs.
The whole book is gluten-free and I was especially excited to receive it and study the thorough and detailed instructions for the Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter that is used in the Brown Rice, Millet and Chia Sourdough Bread. The recipe for the Gluten-Free Pizza Crust is also at the top of my list of things to try.
My Darling Lemon Thyme is Emma’s debut cookbook, and although the U.S. edition came out a few months ago, Emma already released her second cookbook, A Year in My Whole Food Kitchen, in Australia and New Zealand. It looks nothing short of amazing and I can’t wait for it to be published in our side of the world.
Below, some links for the long weekend.
Michael Pollan interviewed on the Here’s the Thing Podcast
Transcendental/Vedic Meditation has been on my mind a lot lately and I enjoyed this interview on the subject between Bob Roth and Jerry Seinfeld. Who would have ever guessed Seinfeld has been meditating since the 70s?
States of Undress – a very typically Vice show about global fashion intertwined with cultural and political issues, hosted by girl crush Hailey Benton Gates.
Strawberry Thai Basil Sorbet
- 2 lb/1 kg strawberries – hulled and sliced
- ¾ cup/200 g unrefined raw sugar (1 cup in original recipe)
- 1 cup loosely packed Thai basil leaves – roughly torn
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Combine strawberries and sugar in a large bowl and set aside for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally until syrupy. Drain syrup from the berries into a small saucepan, add basil and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, remove from heat and let infuse while cooling down to a room temperature.
- Puree strawberries in a blender until smooth and strain through a fine sieve. Discard the seeds. Strain basil syrup over the strawberry puree, squeezing basil leaves with your hands to get the most flavor out of them.
- Add lemon juice, stir to combine and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours – I prefer overnight.
- Churn in an ice-cream maker for 20-25 minutes or according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a container and freeze for another 2 hours.
If you don’t have an ice cream machine, pour the mixture into a shallow, freezer-proof container, freeze for 1 hour until the edges are starting to freeze, and then beat with a whisk to break down ice crystals, until smooth. Return to the freezer and repeat this 2-3 times before leaving to freeze for 2 hours.
Or make popsicles – pour the final mixture into a popsicle mold and freeze.