This is a recipe adapted from my friend Jill a la Jill Dupliex (not the same Jill though the mistake is an easy one). Friend Jill is an excellent host and cook, and when she has you round for food you can be sure of dining on 3 (or more) wonderful courses of food. On a recent trip around hers, we ate strawberries in rosewater essence with a chocolate sorbet, and the memory of the dessert lingered.
The original recipe uses rosewater essence and sugar to create a sweetened syrup for the strawberries to bask in. The rosewater isn't directly tasted, but adds an 'Ooh, what is that?' flavor to the fruit which ratchets up their appeal. So so far so good with the strawberries and rosewater, it would seem. When making it myself, I decided to throw in a couple of more ingredients for a bit of further interest and to use some of the abundant fruit I had bought from the local market (when a bowl full of anything costs £1, it's not hard to wind up with more peaches/peppers/persimmons than modesty would allow).
In this, I used equal parts strawberries and peaches since both turn out a good syrup is allowed to sit in sugar for a while. The rosewater stayed put, and was joined by mint to add additional freshness and flavor. Really, you can play with the fruit and sweetness levels as you see fit, but sticking with a strawberry base and other fruits that are juicy is the best bet. With a bit of cream on top, it's a different way of enjoying strawberries and cream and a slightly sophisticated way of getting your summer fruit salad in. You won't work up a sweat from making this, but you should still enjoy it with a cool glass of Pimms or a dip in the swimming pool (even if it's just an imagined one).
Rosewater and Mint Fruit Salad
makes about 6 modest-sized servings
- about 1lb strawberries, topped and cut in two (or quarters) if large
- about 1lb peaches, diced into bite sized pieces
- handful of fresh mint, chopped finely about
- 3 heaped Tbs confectioner's sugar (more if the strawberries are on the tart side)
- 2 Tbs rosewater essence
- Combine the strawberries, peaches, mint, sugar and rosewater in a large bowl. Taste for tartness, adjusting as needed but keeping in mind the salad will be a bit sweeter after a while.
- Stir well and allow to cool for a few hours so the flavors can come together.