I got pretty excited when Jeanne announce that she will be hosting "waiter, there's something in my...." event, which sounded quite challenging to me. I told her that I would try to participate. Her idea was to create something "sweet/savory swap". I was a bit discourage by the theme, but when she gave an example, like tart Tatin using tomatoes instead of apple, I thought I could do this. Voila, I found the perfect (I think) recipe! But, to go with the theme "sweet/savory swap" I had to convert the original recipe by reduce the amount of sugar to 2 tablespoon, add lemon juice, and increased the amount of salt to 1 tablespoon. There you go Jeanne, I swap the sweet dessert into a savory dessert!
The Stawberries and the spinach-basil sauce with touch of aged balsamic, I thought it matched the theme, no? I hope so....
Recipe adapted from Charlie Trotter "Dessert"
1 cup unsalted butter
2 tbs sugar
1 cup whole toasted almond, skin on
2 cups of flour
1 tbs salt
2 tbs lightly toasted slice almonds, skin on
2 cups strawberries, cut into wedges
1 tsp lime zest
2 tbs lime juice
½ cup crème fraîche
1 cup heavy cream
Pulp of ½ vanilla bean
2 tbs aged balsamic vinegar
Spinach-Basil sauce (recipe follows)
2 tbs tiny fresh basil leaves
For the salty shortcakes:
- Cream butter with sugar and salt until light and fluffy.
- Grind the almond until very fine. Add to the butter mixture, mix just until combine.
- Roll the dough onto 2 sheets of plastic wrap to ¹⁄₈" thick. Lay the dough onto a baking sheet. Refrigerate (with the plastic) for 30 minutes.
- Remove the plastic wrap, transfer the dough onto cutting board. Cut 1½ inches by 2 inch rectangle.
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, lightly press 2 or 3 almond slicesinto each rectangle.
- Bake at 350⁰F for 15 - 20 minutes, or until golden brown
To prepare the strawberries:
- Toss the strawberry wedges with 1 tbs lime juice.
To make the cream:
- Whisk the crème fraîche, heavy cream, and the vanilla pulp until soft peak.
- Arrange some of the strawberry wedges in the center of the plate. Drizzle with some balsamic vinnegar, and the spinach-basil sauce.
- Layer the almond squares with the cream mixture, so that you will have 6 separate stacks of 5 almond squares.
- Set the stacks sideways on top of the strawberries and sprinkle with the basil leaves.
Yield about ½ cup
½ cup fresh basil
¼ cup spinach
1 tbs lime juice
pinch of salt
- Blanch basil and spinach in boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove from the pan and put them immediately into ice water.
- Squeeze as much water as possible from the leaves and coarsely chop.
- Puree with the lime juice and the salt for 3 minutes, or until bright green. Strain through fine mesh sieve. Store in the refrigerator until needed.
The taste? Not bad!
Will I make it again? Nope, I mean...I'll make the original one with sugar!