So I wrote this whole thing about how May snuck up on me and how I’m in the middle of another project that’s simultaneously awesome and butt-kicking and super fun and how I’m going to get back to regular posting soon.
Oh! and then I wrote about how I haven’t even watched the April episode of Feast TV, in which my publisher cooks my dang rack of lamb from the April issue. They pick my recipe to make and I can’t even see my way clear to watch it; that’s like some next level Beyonce-esque stuff. What a diva! So I belabor that point for a paragraph or two…
And then I thought: no. Nope! I’ll get back to posting when I get back to it. Whenever that is. Spoiler alert, I have Chinese Almond Cookie Ice Cream sandwiches to post, Just One Question Project answers to think deep thoughts about and then publish, and social media platforms to wholly ignore. And I just got the new Milk Bar Life cookbook, so you’re in for a fun summer. Maybe I even redesign the blog! Maybe I don’t! This is all happening.
At some point in the near future.
Until then? Rose Hips.
Also Goes By: Nothing: just rose hips, but you can get them fresh in season (fall, after roses have quit blooming), or dried whole or in pieces. The seedless pieces work great for this recipe.
Hails from: Europe, North Africa, West Asia, and all over the U.S and Canada, probably in people’s backyards if you’re lucky.
Find it: Easily found at health stores or sometimes at stores which carry ingredients for homemade tea-mix making. Your local Whole Foods keeps bags in their Whole Life area of the store, or you can order it in to the store for no cost. It’s the same brand as the most popular rose hips on Amazon, and they come in either whole or dried. Fresh ones are going to require more patience: they’re available in the mid to late fall, after the rose blooms have fallen off: look for a bright red, oval berry sticking out of the places where flowers once were, if you’re feeling adventurous.
They’re amazing, easy to find (the dried ones, at least), super affordable, and you make a puree with them (I show you how in my article for Feast’s May issue) that you can basically put with any stone fruit, berry, or grape to give it a little glamour and mystery. Try it, either by making my Grape, Rosemary and Rose Hip Crostini or by making the B-side of this recipe, Strawberry Balsamic and Rose Hip Crostini, found below.
Both summer-perfect. Or make your own: I’d try this with blackberries, apricots, peaches…whatever you’re into. You’re free as a bird with this one, so do what feels right.
Love you guys for being super encouraging, by the way. I’ve been meaning to tell you that, because you all – whether it be by emails, texts, or simply reading this blog – have been super supportive of my writing and my recipes and this space, and my magazine work (which takes me away from this space, at times.) You’re the best, and as summer rolls around, and with it, my 4-year anniversary of this blog, I tend to think about that more. Thank you for letting me invade your space, blow deadlines, break promisees, and share food stuff. You’re awesome.
Black Pepper Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Crostini with Rosehip Puree
Serves | 16 |
for the black pepper balsamic roasted strawberries:
- 2 lbs strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4 inch thick slices
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp black pepper plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup high-quality balsamic vinegar
for the crostini:
- 1 12 oz French baguette, sliced diagonally into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 recipe crostini (from above)
- 1 1/3 cups lebneh (kefir cheese)
- 1 recipe rosehip puree (found here)
- 1 recipe black pepper balsamic roasted strawberries
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Note: the roasted strawberries work well both slightly warm or at room temperature, so take your time putting these together, preparing things in stages as needed; you’re not racing the clock.
Toss strawberries together with sugar, black pepper and balsamic vinegar; cover and place in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat oven down to 375˚F. Line a lipped baking sheet with parchment. Spread strawberry mixture out in a single layer onto pan. Roast for 15 minutes, until strawberries have softened but hold their shape; remove and let cool on baking sheet.
Keep oven temperature at 375ºF and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Brush both sides of baguette slices with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, turning halfway through, until crostini are golden and toasted on both sides. Allow to cool to room temperature.
When you’re ready to serve, spread 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of lebneh on each crostini; drizzle each with 1/4 teaspoon of the rosehip puree. Add a layer of the strawberries over top. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper as needed and serve immediately.