And so, the wave of visitors continues – the latest arrival being Nick’s gran, who flew in yesterday morning from Cape Town… Having visitors is fun – instead of spending the weekend at home blogging, gardening and cooking, I spend the weekend being a tourist in my own town! Over the past few weekends this has seen me visit Camden market, see Dirty Dancing on stage, eat out almost once a day, visit Greenwich, see Kylie and spend a day in Kent.
Kent is the next county to the south-east from where I live. You just drive over the Dartford Crossing bridge and voila – you’re in Kent! We headed for the lovely village of Bearsted first, to meet up with friends and have lunch at the rather lovely Oak on the Green pub (full review to follow later) and from there we headed for Sissinghurst garden. Sissinghurst was the home of poet and novellist Vita Sackville-West, famous not only for her writing but also for her affair with Virginia Woolf. Vita’s other talent was gardening, and the garden she created at Sissinghurst is rightly famous – the division of the space into themed “rooms” (herbs, seasonal gardens, colour themes) is inspired and very striking.
Why the paragraph on Kent? Because Kent is also the home of the strawberries that I used to make dessert last night. To be completely honest with you, the strawberries were slightly past their prime – if they had been picture-perfect I doubt I would have been able to resist gobbling them up fresh with cream! But as things stood, it gave me an opportunity to try the recipe that’s been cropping up all over the blogosphere these days – roasted strawberries. I first sawthem on Kevin’s blog, but I’ve subsequently also seen them on a number of other blogs.
The only change I made to the basic recipe was to substitute half the balsamic vinegar with caramelised verjuice, which worked beautifully. I loved the concentration of flavour that roasting gave the strawberries – but even more, I loved the spectacularly coloured syrup that the roasting produces – too gorgeous! I served this with vanilla ice cream, but you could just as successfully serve it with cream or yoghurt. Any which way, this recipe is a keeper.
So give in to peer pressure today and roast some strawberries 😉
ROASTED STRAWBERRIES (serves 4)
500g fresh strawberries
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp caramelised verjuice
1. Wash, hull and halve the strawberries.
2. Toss together with the sugar and vinegar/verjuice.
3. Spread on the base of a shallow oven-proof dish and roast at 180C for about 30 minutes.
4. Serve with ice cream, cream or yoghurt – and don’t lose a single drop of that beautiful juice!