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IN SEASON


STRAWBERRY PANZANELLA


A traditional Italian panzanella majors on tomatoes. Seasonal strawberries however, off er a similar, delicious balance of acidity and sweetness, but have a wonderful fragrance all of their own.


300g slightly stale sourdough, ciabatta or other coarse-textured bread 500g strawberries, hulled 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar Half a medium cucumber, chopped 1 small red onion, very fi nely sliced


1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and fi nely sliced 1 tbsp baby capers, rinsed A few basil leaves, shredded or torn Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Tear the bread into bite-sized chunks, scatter on a baking tray and put into the oven for just 5–10 mins, until lightly toasted. Leave to cool. Crush half the strawberries with your hands. Put them into a sieve over a large bowl and work them through with the back of a wooden spoon to give a thin strawberry puree.


2 Whisk in the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some salt and pepper. Quarter the remaining strawberries, or cut them into smaller pieces if they are really big. Put them into a large bowl with the cucumber, onion, fennel, toasted bread, capers and about half the basil.


3 Spoon over the strawberry dressing, toss lightly and leave the salad to stand for 10–15 mins before serving.


4 Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Toss the salad gently one more time, scatter over the remaining basil leaves and serve.


River Cottage Fruit Every Day! by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, published by Bloomsbury


serves 6


On a savoury note... We all know the classic combination of strawberry and chocolate. This is due to strawberries' natural tendency towards roasted aromas. However, these beautiful berries also have a fl avour palate that pairs more surprisingly with both cheesy and citrus aromas.


Strawberries, therefore, work perfectly in savoury dishes, particularly ones with salty cheese such as parmesan and feta, as well as citrus aromas found in herbs like basil.


FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 39


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