strawberry agua fresca


strawberry agua fresca

I hate when fruits and vegetables go to waste.  It annoys me.  It’s also a reminder that perhaps I am not preparing them enough or offering them up as often as I should to my kids.  Now I know they aren’t permanently attached to some Tositos bag (although one kid comes close), but whatever the reason, it just bothers me to dump wilted celery, moldy peppers…anything.
Since it has been strawberry season here, I bought some at the local farm stand and they didn’t disappoint this year.  They were really sweet.  So it was my goal to go strawberry crazy, and use them up best I could.  They were seen on cereal, as snacks, in muffins, with whip cream – everywhere.  One Saturday morning, I stared at the carton again, and figured my kids would be surprised to see juice not come from a plastic bottle.  I remembered I had stashed several recipes for agua fresca because the pictures looked cool and they sounded like they would taste fresh – hence the name.  Plus they would go great with vodka.
Back to the kids though….I blended up the batch and it was a hit.  I know I could have been more inventive by adding the kiwi you see in the picture but that was an afterthought.  I love that you can adjust the sweetness with honey or agave nectar or whatever sweetener you like, depending on the natural sweetness of the fruit.  I was proud of my usage of the last of the strawberries, plus I promised myself that I wouldn’t stress out in the future about food going bad.  There is always compost!

strawberries

strawberry agua fresca

3  cups fresh strawberries, halved and tops removed
2  cups cold water
3  TB fresh lime juice
3  TB honey or agave syrup
ice

blended strawberries

get started on the agua fresca:

In a food processor or blender, pulse strawberries until chopped.  Add the cold water and blend well.  Strain mixture through a fine-mesh strainer or sieve and into a pitcher.  Discard remaining solids.  Stir in lime juice and honey and add more until desired sweetness is achieved.  Serve over ice.

strained strawberriesagua fresca with kiwi

note:  this is about three servings, so easily double the recipe for your needs.

glass of agua fresca

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soppressata radicchio rolls


soppressata appetizer platter

Ok, so my man still likes his antipasto.  Then again, so do I.  When my husband and I were dating, he was responsible for food on game day (insert sport), and so in turn, we had a loaf of italian bread from the oven, a brick of provolone, some sliced meats I had never heard of (it took time to pronounce prosciutto), beer, and a squeeze bottle of hot deli mustard (ok, so and I had another bottle, but that was something different…to drink…)  To be honest, nothing much has changed – except I mainly run the kitchen now.  I have tried over the years to lighten up the feast  (except for the Dallas games, which I turn a blind eye to and make whatever he wants), but for other entertaining, I seemed to have found the middle ground for meat eaters and those who would rather try not to devour 2500 calories in 3 hours.  This recipe is one of those that bridge the gap.  I love the fact that I found this recipe in the sidebar of a magazine.  I guess it caught my eye because of its simplicity, in addition to the fact that there was soppressata rolled….that made me interested.  If you know me, I like finger food, and not just a bowl of chips and salsa (which I can devour!).  I enjoy putting something out, even if it is just for my husband and me, because that is what cooking is about….having fun…taking pride…and having it taste delicious.  So on certain occasions, there is still a pile of meat put out as an appetizer, but at least it is rolled around radicchio!

soppressata radicchio rolls (adapted from Food & Wine)

24  mild soppressata slices
1 nice sized radicchio head, shredded
10  pepperoncini, chopped
2  oz. goat cheese, crumbled
1  tsp. red wine vinegar
1  tsp. extra virgin olive oil
TB pine nuts, toasted
kosher salt and ground black pepper

soppressataradicchio salad

get started on the rolls:

In a bowl, combine the shredded raddicchio, pepperoncini, goat cheese, vinegar and olive oil.  In a small cast iron skillet, toast the pine nuts for a few minutes, shaking occasionally so as not to burn.  Add to bowl and combine with radicchio mixture.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

soppressatapepperoncini

Arrange the slices of soppressata on a work surface and mound about a tablespoon or so of the radicchio mixture on each piece.  Roll up the soppressata around the salad to form a cone.

rolls of soppressata

note:  to make this meatless, I served a portion of the radicchio salad in a bowl and served with crostini.  Just check that the salad is dressed enough to adhere to the crostini.  Also, I made this once with sliced almonds – untoasted, because I didn’t have pine nuts.

rolls with bowl

rolls with cheese plate