Is ‘herb’ a verb?
It is now.
I was recently asked to provide some desserts for a party in late September, a request I usually decline because I’m not baking-inclined, but they wanted the entire event to be gluten free so my empathetic streak took over. A chocolate chile cake was of course on my menu but then I stumbled upon gluten free angelfood cake recipes online, and on chow.com found the idea of combining strawberries mixed with fresh herbs as a topping. What an utterly scrumptious dessert idea.
The gf angelfood will be made with orange zest (and possibly by someone else), and the fruit will take on more of a tree-fruit variety since we have so many local plums and pears right now. I’ll probably use organic nectarines as well since they are in their most delicious season.
Grilling stone-fruit (or drupes—-plums, nectarines, apricots, peaches) is a great way to introduce yet another layer of flavor and they can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. When I cooked for Lenny Russo at the Loring Café in the early 90’s we would serve grilled plums with the 5-Spice Grilled Trout…heck yeah. The fruit needs to be firm and not overly ripe, and the slices should be thick so they don’t fall apart when the heat sets in. Make sure the grill grate is clean and wipe it with an oiled cloth or paper towel. I was able to flip these and grill both sides but sometimes the fruit is too delicate to be flipped.
If you can’t grill, don’t let it stop you from creating this tasty little combination!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Grill Time (optional): 8-10 minutes, not including grill prep time
If you’re up for it, prep the grill. Clean the rack and brush with an oiled paper towel.
Halve and remove pits or slice in thick slices:
Nectarines, plums or apricots–they will need to be relatively firm, not overly ripe
Gently place the fruit on the rack for a few minutes. If they are holding up well, flip and grill the other side.
Dice in a bowl:
2 cups of diced Fruit—-plums, nectarines, pears, and/or strawberries—they don’t have to be grilled, but it is tasty…
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Orange Zest
2 Tablespoons of the Juice from the Orange
2 Tablespoon Fresh Mint, chopped
1 teaspoon Fresh Rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon Fresh Thyme, minced
Mix together gently.
Angelfood Cake or Pound Cake
Rosemary — I can grow it outside but it usually doesn’t make it through the winter. Soon it will be time to grind the whole pile into a pesto with olive oil and freeze it for another day, another dish.