At some time over the holiday weekend, most of us will be getting together with family and friends for an outdoor meal and I’d bet that many of us will be grilling for the first time this season. Imagine beautiful weather, firing up the grill, and enjoying the results of the projects you’ve spent the last couple of days working on. I have some great ideas for a menu that will make it a really special holiday!

Strawberries with Mint Whipped Cream

from Martha Stewart Living    

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 packed cups fresh mint leaves and stems, coarsely chopped, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 quart strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced   

Directions:

  1. Make syrup: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar, mint, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil. Remove from heat; steep 15 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a measuring cup, pressing to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids. Let cool (makes 1/4 cup).
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in 1/4 cup syrup (store any remaining syrup); if needed, re-whip cream to stiffen.
  3. Spoon alternating layers of strawberries and cream into four serving glasses.  Top each with a mint sprig.  Serves 4.

Although I started with dessert, it will be a breeze to prepare the rest of this delicious menu that makes good use of the produce and other products we’ve been seeing at the Market — like lettuce greens, spring onions, free-range chicken, lots of garden vegetables, farm-fresh eggs, fresh mozzarella, fresh mint and basil, and of course, seasonal strawberries. Instead of making BBQ sauce from scratch, try the sauce from market vendor, Local Folks Foods. Then kick back and enjoy the day!