Although Valentine’s can be a bit cliche, I still love it! It’s a great reason to enjoy delicious food with friends, family and loved ones and enjoy some chocolate, strawberries and roses. Below are the sweet and savoury strawberry recipes I shared on this week’s Sunday Brunch show.
This Valentine’s week is a particularly special one for me. For the first time I am cooking in my own brand new kitchen and probably the last time I’ll be up on my feet all day before the baby comes. I couldn’t feel luckier to finally have our own home (although the baby could come next week and builders are still here). It is also bittersweet that this week has been my last week teaching at the College of Naturopathic Medicine, speaking for the women at the charity Right to Play being on a female restauranteur panel with About Time Magazine and then my last show on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch before the baby comes. I’ve loved every moment in the past week and I am not sure how I will deal with being a mom away from my work and the Maple & Co team who I love – Steph, Piotr, Rupi and Csilla – you are my Valentines this year! Thank you for everything.
STRAWBERRY MARINATED DUCK BREASTS (df, gf)
2 duck breast, with skin
1 garlic clove, peeled, crushed
50g or 1 shallot, peeled, trimmed, roughly chopped
15g or 2 tsp ginger, peeled, grated
3 tbsp orange juice and zest, reserve some zest for garnish
300g strawberries, trimmed, 250g halved + 50g diced for garnish
sea salt and black pepper to taste
2-3 tbsp water
10g basil leaves for sauce and garnish, chopped
- P/H oven to 180C.
- In a food processor, blitz garlic, shallot, ginger, 125g strawberry halves and orange juice and zest.
- Score the duck skin diagonally (carefully as not to cut into the flesh) and place into marinade for 1 hr up to overnight. Take duck out to room temp 20 mins before starting to cook.
- Remove duck from marinade, scraping marinade and pat breast dry with kitchen roll.
- Season with salt and pepper and fry skin side down on a cold skillet allowing the breast to heat up for 7 minutes until crisp.
- Finish duck in oven for 8-12 minutes until desired doneness. Rest on chopping board immediate when ready to prevent further cooking.
- Meanwhile, bring to a boil the marinade plus remaining strawberry halves. Cover and simmer until strawberries are very soft and add water as needed to reach desired consistency. Off the heat, add chopped basil to sauce.
- Slice duck. Serve with sauce in a shallow bowl/ plate, then add duck, diced strawberries, basil and orange zest.
STRAWBERRY SUPERFOOD GRAIN BOWL (df,gf, sugar free)
300 L water
1/4 tsp sea salt
250g strawberries, trimmed, halved (reserve 50g for garnish, sliced)
4 tbsp olive oil (2 for roasting and 2 for dressing)
10g or half shallot, peeled, chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 pinch sea salt to taste
1-2 tbsp water
200g salmon fillet
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp sea salt
50 g baby spinach
1 bunch fresh mint leaves, torn
1 avocado, cubes
50-60g or 8-10 tbsp strawberry dressing
½ lemon, juice & zest
40g hazelnuts, roasted (optional), roughly chopped
- P/H the oven at 180C
- Cut the strawberries in half and cover and toss in 2 tbsp olive oil. Roast for 30 mins on parchment lined baking tray.
- Rub the salmon filet with garam masala and salt, and bake for about 20-30 mins until cooked.
- Meanwhile bring quinoa, water and salt to a boil then reduce to low heat and simmer for 12-15 mins covered on until all water is absorbed and spirals are revealed. Turn off heat and place a dry dishcloth over pot for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
- In a blender or food processor, puree roasted strawberries, shallot, balsamic, remaining olive oil. Add sea salt to taste and lemon. Add water as needed to make a dressing consistency.
- Once the salmon is baked, flake with fork.
- In a bowl, gently toss warm quinoa, sliced strawberries, spinach, mint, avocado and dressing. Serve quinoa mix in a bowl and top with flaked salmon.
STRAWBERRY FRENCH TOAST WITH WALNUT BUTTER (df)
4 slices sourdough bread, approx. ½ inch thick
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp maple syrup
125ml almond milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
pinch of sea salt
2 bananas, 1 mashed and 1 sliced
50g dark chocolate pieces or chips
5-6 fresh strawberries, trimmed and sliced
4 tbsp fermented strawberry sauce (see below)
2 tbsp walnut butter (see below or any nut butter from store)
fresh mint leaves
Fermented Strawberry Sauce
350g strawberries, trimmed and quartered
½ tsp sea salt
half a lemon, juice and zest
½ tsp probiotic powder (or approx. 1-2 capsules split open)
Homemade Walnut Butter
400g walnuts, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt
To Make the Strawberry Sauce
- Combine all of the ingredients except the probiotics in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer for about 5 minutes. Smash about half of the fruit to keep a slightly chunkier sauce. Let cool.
- Add in the probiotics and stir. Transfer to a sterilised glass jar, close the lid and leave on a kitchen worktop at room temperature for 2 days to ferment. Transfer to the refrigerator where it will last for approx. 2 months.
To Make the Walnut Butter
- In a food processor, blitz the walnuts for about 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl down with a spatula then add the salt and cinnamon. Blitz for another 3 minutes and scrape again. Taste and add more cinnamon or salt as needed. Continue blitzing until you have reached your desired consistency.
- Transfer to an airtight glass container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To Make the French Toast
- P/H oven to 180C
- Make your egg bath by adding eggs, maple syrup, cinnamon, milk and salt in shallow bowl and whisk to combine. Soak bread in egg bath until soaked through slice.
- Toss sliced strawberries in strawberry sauce. Mash and slice bananas.
- Make your sandwich by spreading mashed banana with chocolate pieces on one slice, then add your sliced strawberries and sliced bananas on top. On the other slice, spread walnut butter and add on top of strawberry chocolate banana half.
- Heat oil on frying pan on medium heat. Take your ‘sandwich’ and carefully place into pan and cook for about 3-4 mins until golden. Carefully flip ‘sandwich’ onto the other side and cook again for a further 3-4 mins. Bake in oven for 7-10 mins until gooey.
- Serve hot on a plate with optional garnish as desired.
STRAWBERRY BUCKWHEAT LOAF (gf, df, ve optional)
125 g buckwheat flour
75 g almond flour
1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp ground Himalayan pink salt (or 1/4 regular salt)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
75g coconut oil, melted
1 large egg, beaten (remove for vegan and add 25g more coconut oil)
100 g coconut syrup
75 ml almond milk
100g fresh and/ or frozen strawberries (keep 30g for garnish)
15g pistachios, crushed
1 tbsp rose petals (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 170C.
- Line a loaf tin 26x10x10cm with baking parchment.
- Melt coconut oil and set aside to cool.
- Sieve all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
- In a separate bowl beat egg until even and add coconut syrup, milk and coconut oil.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour half the liquid into well and evenly whisk. Add remaining liquid and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Fold 75 grams of the berries into the mix.
- Fill tin with mix. Gently tap tin to level mix. Garnish with remaining berries and pistachios.
- Bake for 25 minutes, rotate the tin and bake for another 20-30 minutes. Toothpick the centre of loaf check that it comes out clean.
- Cool loaf for 25 minutes before removing from the tin. Garnish with rose petals.