I am a big fan of the blog event that Martin at http://blog.khymos.org/ has recently started called They Go Really Well Together. Martin seeks out compatible but unusual ingredients, based on scientific reasoning that is interesting but a bit beyond me. This month Evelin at Bounteous Bites is hosting and the challenge is to bring strawberries and coriander together. This is my entry.
Strawberries often seem the plain Jane of berries – not as exotic or sharp as some of their berry cousins. But they often provide good honest refreshment on a cake or pavlova and they are look so pretty. I never appreciated how good they could be till I lived in the UK where they have an intense sweetness I never find in our Melbourne strawberries.
Fresh coriander is more of a challenge for me. It looks great but I just can’t understand its recent popularity because it tastes like soap to me. I use the dried variety at times but avoid it fresh. But strawberries seem best suited to the fresh green leaves and so I decided it was time to face the hip young herb that has everyone talking.
What to make? I saw a sweet strawberry soup months ago but threw away the magazine. Martin suggested rice paper rolls, salsa and muffins. Sounded good. Then I was inspired as I washed my hair with my strawberry shampoo and avocado conditioner yesterday morning. I remembered Eat’n Veg’n’s recent love of this combination and the pieces fell into place. Holy guacamole Batman! Oh yes! I love putting finely chopped tomato in guacamole so the small red pieces appear like jewels in the bright green dip. But instead of tomato, I would put in strawberries, and add some coriander.
It is not strawberry season in Melbourne and I had to try it before I could organize myself to get to one of our fine markets. The supermarket was selling Californian strawberries for $8 a 375g punnet! So I felt slightly better, but not much, to find a punnet of Australian strawberries for $5. Still felt like daylight robbery. Especially as they were not delicate small sweet berries but monsters that would look at home in one of the B-grade sci-fi movies E loves so much.
The guacamole was great – the sweet succulence of the strawberries contrast nicely with the creaminess of the avocado and the coriander adds an interesting flavour – but still seems a little soapy! I think I could have had even more berries in it next time. And it was spicy thanks to a chilli pepper grown by my sister-in-law Miriam. Most delicious on toast with sauerkraut (thanks Lucy for the suggestion).
Flesh of 1 avocado, mashed
2 large strawberries, finely chopped
1 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
Juice of ½ a small lemon
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
1 medium garlic clove, crushed
4 pepperberries (or peppercorns), ground
1/4 tsp raspberry vinegar
Mix all ingredients.
On the Stereo:
The Hill for Company: Sodastream