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The Review - FOOD AND DRINK - Cooking with CLARE
Published: 20th August 2008
Strawberry fields forever...

It's Wimbledon and that can only mean one ingredient...Claire Latimer has some great ideas for a summer classic

With the Wimbledon finals coming up this weekend I think I will have to hit on the strawberry theme.
Not only do tennis and strawberries marry like scones and clotted cream but also it is normally the prime time for English strawberries hopefully being egged on by blue skies and just enough rain to make them plump and firm with that wonderful deep red glow.
English strawberries have been in the shops since March, but have been grown under glass or plastic but now we should be getting the ‘fresh air’ ones and nothing can beat that flavour.
Farmers here are now saying that we will still be able to eat our English ones into November and they are very near to being able to supply them at Christmas but I think this is a shame and we should stick to the mid-summer, deep red, full sunny flavour and then have some time without them so there is something to look forward to and this will keep them as a special treat. You have got from now until August to eat these lush sunny ones.

Avocado with strawberry puree
This is the perfect starter for the amateur cook or anyone short of time. Delicious, original, fresh and colourful.
The French dressing is the one we have in the shop that everyone raves about so even if you are not having this dish you could just make up some dressing and keep for summer salads.

For the Dressing
One garlic clove, peeled and crushed;
one tsp mustard powder;
one tsp paprika;
A pinch curry powder;
Salt and freshly ground black pepper;
one tsp runny honey;
one tsp oregano;
one tsp thyme;
Juice of 1 lemon;
50ml cider vinegar;
300ml Extra Virgin olive oil;
300g ripe strawberries, washed and hulled.
Four ripe avocados;
Two strawberries for garnish.

Put all the ingredients as far and including the olive oil into a cup and mix well.
Puree the strawberries with the dressing and add a little sugar if you think necessary.
Cut the avocados in half lengthways and remove the stones.
Carefully peel off the skins or scoop out with a serving spoon.
Just before serving, whisk the puree again and pour enough to cover the bottom of each serving plate.
Either place each avocado half, cut-side down onto the puree or slice the flesh lengthways and fan the slices onto the puree.
Season with fresh pepper and garnish with half a strawberry.

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