Lets see what we have cooked up for you with this months theme. If you would care to join in either link your post using berries or add your link to the Linky tool below.
One of my favourite summer activities is picking wild raspberries with my friends here in the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. You can find a myriad of wild berries from tiny pistachio-sized wild strawberries to robust and flavourful blackberries. The waning weeks of summer are the best time to be out in the bush, as the berries are ripe and intensely flavourful, in contrast to the sometimes bland-tasting commercial varieties from the grocery store.
Wild-berry harvesting is a Canadian tradition. Picking blackberries in British Columbia, salmon and partridge berries in Newfoundland, wild blueberries in northern Ontario and Saskatoon berries in Saskatchewan and Alberta will find locals scouring the countryside for their "secret" patch. Over 200 species of small, fleshy, wild fruits and berries grow in Canada. A pint of wild blueberries from Northern Ontario sells for close to eight dollars in the trendy health-food stores of Toronto, where many consumers are motivated not only by the fantastic taste but also by increasing scientific evidence about the health benefits of berries.
Spring has only just nicely arrived and here I am already dreaming of summer when berries will be ripe for the picking. To get me into Spring mode I prepared a powerhouse salad from the pages of Cooking Light but instead of using raspberries I used what was in season... at least in California...and worked with strawberries. The reddish pigments that give these berries their appealing colour continue to shine as super nutrients that help prevent disease.
Lets see what the rest of our group came up with!
Jerry of Jerry's Thoughts, Musings and Rants starts our celebration with some Raspberry Daiquiris. I am more than happy to raise my glass to you Jerry for starting us off so well at this months supper club
Roz of La Bella Vita brings the "piece de resistance Pork Medallions with Spicy Pomegranate-Blueberry Reduction . With chipotles and blueberries this makes a tangy addition with that WOW factor.
Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen complements our Berry-licious menu with a Strawberry-Avocado Salsa. Wouldn't this make a delicious accompaniment to any meat dish.
Next Sandi of The Whistlestop Cafe wowed us with a side of a Raspberry Asparagus Medley perfect for Spring. Way to go Sandi!
To accompany our meal I brought along an outstanding salad of Mesclun with Berries and Sweet Spiced Almonds. Strawberries add bright colour and several good-for-you nutrients like fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C. Almonds are a good source of vitamin E and monounsaturated fats. Chives, members of the onion family, add phenols and flavonoids.
As a finale to a delicious meal Jamie of Mom's Cooking Club brings us a comforting dish of Balsamic Strawberry Topping. This is perfect for on top of your favourite ice cream, pound cake or angel food cake.
**Mesclun with Berries and Sweet Spiced Almonds**
- 5 cups gourmet salad greens
- 1 3/4 cups raspberries (about 1 [6-ounce] container)- strawberries were in season
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- 3 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon country-style Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon canola oil or virgin olive oil
- 6 tablespoons Sweet Spiced Almonds
**Sweet Spiced Almonds**
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
- Cooking spray
Combine almonds and next 4 ingredients (through cumin) in a small bowl. Stir in egg white. Spread mixture evenly onto a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes. Stir mixture; bake an additional 15 minutes or until crisp. Transfer foil to a wire rack; cool almond mixture. Break almond mixture into small pieces.
Note: Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to one week.
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