We’ve all been a bit worried about the berry season; admit it. With the rain and cold - I’ve been eyeing those phony berries on the shelves and pining like a Southern belle whose man has gone off to war….Oh my love, will you ever return? And will you have any flavor when you finally get here?
Fresh berries have started to show at farmers markets, but I’m still waiting for authenticity and satisfaction. So when Strawberry Brownies crossed my path they got my attention. What a combo – fudgy chocolate brightened up by strawberries picked just at the right moment and preserved just for me! The strawberries came from Rigoni di Asiago, a food producer based 90 miles north of Venezia, Italy. Food Partiers by heart, this family-owned company stuffs their fruit spread jars with 3 pounds of quality organic fruit (and no added sugar), grown “with respect for the environment and biodiversity.”
Hmmm, biodiversity - that’s the word of the day, isn’t it? Look around the natural world. It doesn’t all look the same. Variation in nature creates balance and makes systems stronger. So why do humans have such a hard time seeing how we fit into this bigger picture?
But I digress - back to the berries - check out this Food Party! recipe to hold you until the really good strawberries come galloping back into your arms.
1 package your favorite brownie mix (the fudgier the better)*
½ - 1 jar Rigoni di Asiago Strawberry preserves
½ pint (or so) fresh strawberries, sliced ¼” thick
Make the brownies according to the package. Butter or lightly oil an 8 X 8 glass baking pan. Put in ½ the brownie mix and spread flat. Freeze 10 minutes. Spread on strawberry preserves,
layer on berries, and top with remaining batter. Bake according to package. YUM!
* I think there are two packaged dessert products that the processed food industry executes really well; one is the frozen pie crust, and the other is box brownies. I usually like boxed brownies more than those made from scratch.