Every year as winter comes to a close, my local supermarket is suddenly brimming with punnets and punnets of strawberries at bargain prices. My over zealous enthusiasm for these sweet treats takes over. I can’t help but snatch up a basket full of berries and inevitably end up purchasing punnets of over ripe berries. You would think I would learn from past mistakes, but I always seem to buy way too many considering they aren’t the best to start off with.
Of course, if you’re a long time reader, you will know that I have an arsenal of recipes incorporating strawberries. But for those times that I get really over excited, my fall back is the old classic; strawberry jam. I mean who doesn’t love strawberry jam? Mash up strawberries, smear on bread, done! How good is that?
The sophisticated mix of sweet and spicy flavours are the prefect combination. Roasting the strawberries intensifies the sweetness and the kick of chili adds depth (plus it gives a surprising aftertaste for the unprepared). It is a marriage of flavours I never thought would work before trying, but surprisingly it totally works!
What You Need:
1 punnet of strawberries
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Chilli Peppers
2 star anise pods
Salt and pepper to taste
Balsamic vinegar (optional)
What You Do:
1. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees celsius and line a baking sheet with a line of aluminum foil and a piece of baking paper.
2. Rinse and half strawberries and add to a large bowl with anise pods and whole chili peppers.
3. Toss the prepared strawberries and chili’s with a drizzle of honey, a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
4. Spread the strawberry mixture on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
5. Discard the anise pods. Remove the chili’s from the baking tray and cut off the ends. Carefully cut open each chili and using a knife, scrape the flesh and seeds from the inside and discard the skins.
6. Add the chili and strawberries with the juices and blend until smooth. If you prefer add 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar for extra depth and to help preserve the jam for long.
Serve while still warm on bread, toast, scones; you know - any kind of delicious carbs! Just remember to warn people before you serve it up. Not everyone would enjoy this spicy spread on their morning toast…