Grilled Fruit 6 - Strawberries
Strawberries -- yet another fruit that people do not often think of as something to put on a grill.
But we are pioneering here -- and the results are amazing!
The whole process is, of course, simple, but just take a whiff of those strawberries while they are grilling or fresh off the grill and you will be bowled over by the wonderful strawberry smell.
Strawberries smell great right in the package the fresh ones come in, but grilling them for a few minutes condenses and enhances all that.
For another fruit not often used to grace a grill and to benefit from the fire, try blueberries, which we treated here: Blueberries.
On the grill - 1
I suppose we could put them directly on the grill, one by one, but in fact a grilling basket of some sort will make this a lot easier and more convenient. Buy a grilling basket, and you will find many uses for it, starting with these strawberries.
Strawberries can be grilled whole or by halves. These were first washed, then the stems were removed, then they were cut in half. They grill a little faster that way, but in fact he main reasons for cutting them in half before placing them on the grill have to do with variation in color. The cut half shows the grill a bit more and contrasts pleasing with the bright red side.
Face down in the basket for the first couple of minutes.
On the grill - 2
After that couple of minutes, we can use tongs to turn each strawberry half over. One by one. I suppose if you were some sort of magician you could just flip the whole basket up, with a flick of the wrist, and have them all come down together on the other side. Dream on.
We do not want to leave them on the grill too long or they will become mushy. They would still be delicious, but some of the juice would run out and be lost and the delightful crunch of the strawberry would be lost. We want to prevent that, while at the same time getting the enhancing effects of the grilling onto our plate.
On the plate
Actually, in this case, in a bowl. Not that it matters.
The best time to experience the wonderful smell is when they are still in the basket, just coming off the grill. But lumped together in a bowl like this is really just as good.
Who could resist a dessert like this?
The variations is the individual strawberries as to the amount they show of the grilling makes for culinary interest, though when the aroma hits that is sufficient to arouse any appetite.
Enhancing the witchcraft
Chocolate -- that is one thing that can enhance enhancement.
Dark chocolate, preferably, but really any kind of chocolate will do. Even, I suppose, a bit of chocolate syrup.
Other possibilities -- Add some of those grilled blueberries mentioned above. Add a little whipped cream, particularly if is freshly made. Add a liqueur.
Better yet, grill strawberries like this on numerous occasions and try each of these possibilities. What an opportunity! -- handed to us by the grill.
But dig in!
Usually we talk about history here, the origin and cultivation of the fruit or vegetable under discussion. But today we are going to start with nutrition.
Strawberries are distinctive in being a useful source of manganese, a dietary mineral. Manganese is needed for the antioxidant system of the body, and it also plays a role in regulating our metabolism. Notoriously, however, too much manganese can lead to a degeneration of our neurons and in especially severe cases can even produce Parkinson's-like symptoms. Fortunately it is difficult to go thus overboard on manganese, and strawberries help us get the right amount we need. Strawberries also contain Vitamin C. There is some indication, not air-tight, that strawberries help the cardio-vascular system, are anti-inflammatory, and possibly even anticancer. All in all, it seems to be a good idea to eat strawberries. Did I mention the taste? -- especially when grilled?
That aroma coming off the grill we mentioned here above -- chemists count over 50 types of chemical involved in that. I wonder if chemists on average eat more strawberries that the average person.
Few people seem to be aware of this, but there are actually quite a few distinct cultivars of the strawberry. These are not usually mentioned when strawberries are presented to us in the market, but perhaps we could look for them when setting about growing strawberries in our own gardens (or in pots on our porch or windowsill, if don't actually have a garden). The names of the cultivar match the beauty of the fruit, starting with Rhapsody and Symphony. Other cultivars are Honeoye, Hapil and Pegasus.
As we all know, strawberries send out little runners which then themselves send down their own roots. Some of these newbies can be detached from the mother plant and grown by themselves in a new pot. It is said that you need to replace strawberry plants every three years. It is also said that when you do this you need to replace the soil they are grown in as a way to thwart the microorganisms that would like to infect the strawberry plant.
Part of a series
Pictures, pictures, pictures
Series within series, actually. Food & Cooking, for example, then -- within that -- series on vegetables, fruits, seafood, meat, etc. Books, too. Ideas, too. Travel, too. Key virtues:. pictures, clear step-by-step text. Delicious -- whether foods or ideas! All of the series, and all of the items in each series, can be found at this link: Lee White's Department Store
Real Meal. Unlike fancy food mags, where images are hyped and food itself is secondary, all pix shown here are from a real meal, prepared and eaten by me and my friends. No throwing anything away till perfection is achieved. This is the real deal --- a Real Meal.