Welcome to the very first Foodie Friday on Isn’t That Grad! This week, I’m featuring berries.
By day I’m a scientist but at night I love to bake- it’s a great stress reliever and also a fun way to bring people together, so it’s a win-win for me! Cooking has always come naturally to me, but over the years I’ve realized that’s not the case with everyone. Often when I share food with friends I get comments like “that’s so clever” or “how did you think of that flavor combination?” I realized that I have knowledge about cooking that I can share with everyone else– and now, I’m going to do just that, every other Friday!
My cooking point of view is (to take from a common workplace term) transferrable skills. If you know what tastes good together and how to handle ingredients, you can go and put together any dish containing those ingredients! Recipes become less important if you understand the food. That’s what I’m here to teach you.
Summer means fresh fruits and veggies are finally in season, and my favorite thing to find nowadays is berries! Berries are great as a snack, but what if you want to do more than just munch on them fresh? Luckily, they are actually very versatile ingredients!
- Berries taste great if you pair them with citrus: think lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit. Try a lemon vinaigrette on your arugula and strawberry salad, or blackberry scones with lime zest.
- Pies are a simple way to use up bulk berries. If you are using a berry with a lot of moisture, such as blueberries or raspberries, you’ll want to toss them in a bit of flour and/or corn starch (to absorb that moisture) before dumping them into the crust. For drier berries, such as cherries, you can skip that step.
- For a savory idea, berries can add a bit of tartness to a sauce. To keep the flavors balanced, match the tartness/sourness of the berry with that of the sauce: try cherries into your tomato sauce, or throw blueberries in with balsamic vinegar. Heat the combo in a saucepan so that the flavors will meld together, and then use on top of your favorite dish for a new twist!
With berries in season during July and August in most areas, this is the prime time of the year to try out new ways to use berries in your kitchen. In fact, those blueberry-lime scones pictured above were in my oven as I was writing this post- yum! What do you like to cook with berries? Let me know and you could be featured right here next Friday!