Waste not ... Straw­ber­ries Tom Hunt

The Guardian - Feast - - News -

Up to two-fifths of a crop of fruit or veg­eta­bles can be wasted be­cause it’s ugly or un­der­ripe. This is then churned back into the soil, com­posted or, at worst, poured into land­fill. Of course, there’s noth­ing ac­tu­ally wrong with such pro­duce: ugly fruit still tastes the same, while un­der­ripe fruit is per­fect for mak­ing in­ter­est­ing pre­serves and bring­ing acid­ity to cook­ing.

Noth­ing tastes of sum­mer quite like a zingy, sweet, juicy straw­berry, but have you ever thought about eat­ing the nu­tri­tious green tops, leaves or even the un­der­ripe, tart green fruit, which is lovely in sal­ads or pick­led and eaten with cheese. I’ll hap­pily gob­ble straw­ber­ries whole, tops and all, but if I have to hull them, I use the green stems for a de­li­cious tea when in­fused with hot wa­ter.

At the other end of the spec­trum to green straw­ber­ries, ripe, red fruit bruises eas­ily, and goes mushy and less ap­petis­ing, but it’s still OK to eat. Mac­er­ate in gin or vodka and serve with cream, or bake in a crum­ble.

Pick­led green straw­ber­ries and ce­viche

Fill a clean 750ml jar with 275ml wa­ter, 100ml white-wine vine­gar, a tea­spoon of sugar and four tea­spoons of salt. Shake to dis­solve. Fill the jar with about 300g green straw­ber­ries and green toma­toes (op­tional). Screw on the lid and put in the fridge overnight. Serve as they are, or make a “ce­viche”: cut the fruit into thin wedges and lay on a plate. Dress with a lit­tle olive oil, finely sliced co­rian­der stalks and leaves, and diced green chilli.

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