Daily fresh fruits through all the summer season

Strawberries were cultivated by the Romans as early as 200 BC. In medieval times strawberries were regarded as an aphrodisiac and soup made of strawberries, borage and soured cream was traditionally served to newly-weds at their wedding breakfast.

In the sixteenth century strawberries were sold in cone-shaped straw baskets thus becoming one of the earliest packaged foods.

Strawberries were used medicinally to help with digestive ailments, discolored teeth and skin irritations.

Salt and Pepper Squid with Chillied Strawberry Chutney

Salt and Pepper Squid with Chillied Strawberry Chutney


Homemade chilli chutney gets a summery twist with the addition of British strawberries. Delicious served as a dipping sauce for deep fried squid, fresh prawns or even drizzled over some cream cheese for a snack with tortilla dippers. Make plenty of chutney and keep the extra in the fridge for up to two weeks or freeze in a small container if preferred.

Serves 4 as a starter

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • Chilli and Strawberry Chutney
  • 3 large mild red chillies, about 40 g (1 ½ oz) in total, halved, deseeded, finely chopped
  • 4 cm (1 ½ inch) piece root ginger, peeled, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, roughly crushed
  • 450 g (1 lb) strawberries, sliced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 450 g (1 lb) caster sugar
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) white wine vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons corn flour
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Salt and Pepper Squid
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) baby squid, cleaned, defrosted if frozen
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, finely crushed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 4 tablespoons corn flour
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 egg white
  • Sunflower oil for deep frying
  • Little paprika to garnish, optional
  • Iceberg lettuce leaves to serve, optional

Method

1) Put all the ingredients for the chutney, except the corn flour and water into a medium sized saucepan and cook over a gentle heat, stirring from time to time until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat slightly and simmer, stirring from time to time for 30 minutes until the strawberries are soft.

2) Mix the corn flour with the water until a smooth paste, stir into the chutney and cook for one minute until thickened and smooth. Leave to cool.

3) Remove the tentacles from inside the squid tubes, rinse tentacles and tubes well in cold water, drain and slice the tubes into 1 cm (½ inch) rings.

4) Spoon the peppercorns and salt on to a plate, add the corn flour and flour and mix together. Fork the egg white on a second plate to break up.

5) Half fill a deep saucepan with oil and heat until the surface begins to shimmer. Meanwhile dip a few of the squid rings into the egg white, drain off the excess then toss in the flour. Drop one of the rings into the oil, if it bubbles instantly it is ready. Lower the flour coated squid into the oil with a draining spoon or frying basket. Cook for two-three minutes until the squid is pale golden brown and cooked through, lift out of the oil, drain well and transfer to a second plate lined with kitchen paper.

6) Continue dipping the squid slices and tentacles in the flour mix and frying in small batches until it is all cooked. Spoon on to fresh squares of kitchen paper or into lettuce leaves set on serving plates, spoon the chutney into small individual dishes, add to plates and serve immediately.

Source: SeasonalBerries