Tag Archives: mint

Dad’s Strawberries, Chocolate Style (p. 84)

Strawberry season would come around when I was a kid, and I’d wake up one morning to sugared strawberries, which was the best surprise ever, and which my dad would make by sprinkling sugar over strawberries and putting it all in the fridge. I can even remember which container he would use. The sugar pulls the liquid out of the strawberries and you end up with syrupy strawberry goodness.

This year, when strawberry season came around, I realized that we had no choice but to reinvent it. We eat this with pancakes, but it also goes well on peanut buttered toast.

Makes about 4 cups of strawberry topping (plus one mug of strawberry drink)
Takes all night (plus 2–4 hours baking the optional caramelized sugar)

Caramelized Sugar
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Pour a bag of sugar into a glass baking pan and shake the pan so it’s evenly distributed. Do not use a metal pan—that will melt the sugar instead of caramelizing it. Cook the sugar for 2–4 hours. Crush any chunks. Caramelization makes the sugar a little less sweet and more flavorful, which will result in a more complex strawberry dish. This will make a subtle difference for those with discerning taste buds.

6 tablespoons white sugar or caramelized sugar
4 cups sliced strawberries
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Plant milk (optional)

In a large container, combine the strawberries, mint, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract. Put the lid on and put the container in the fridge. In the morning, it’s ready! Use a fork to serve these strawberries over pancakes or toast.

Fresh, rich strawberry drink: Drain the syrupy by-product from the bowl of strawberries into a cup and add 1–2 times as much plant milk as there is syrup. Stir it, then sip it. This is objectively amazing and might be the best part of the whole “Dad’s Strawberries” recipe.

Strawberry salsa: If you want something you can eat straight, decrease the sugar to 1/4 cup and replace the cocoa powder with 1/4 cup of cocoa nibs, and let it all sit for an hour instead of overnight.


Strawberry-Mint Sandwich (p. 121)

We were at a cafe working on this very cookbook, minding our own business, when we overheard someone order a savory sandwich. Of course, I had to ask the question: “What would a sweet sandwich look like?” As it happened, strawberries were in season, so we went home and tested our theory. This strawberry-mint sandwich is delicious and we recommend making it with fresh, thinly-sliced rye bread.

Makes one sandwich
Takes 10 minutes

3 medium strawberries
2 slices of bread
2 tablespoons grated chocolate
Mint leaves to cover a slice of bread
2 teaspoons cocoa butter, divided

Slice the strawberries and lay them out in a single layer on one slice of bread. Sprinkle the grated chocolate over the strawberries, cover everything with a layer of mint leaves, and close your sandwich with the second slice of bread.

Place half of the cocoa butter in a skillet over medium heat. Put the sandwich on top of the pat of cocoa butter so that the fat will soak into the bread rather than spreading around the pan. Cover the skillet and cook the sandwich for about two minutes, or until the bottom of the sandwich begins to turn golden-brown. Flip the sandwich, placing the remaining cocoa butter under the sandwich, and cook for another two minutes, covered.

Serve while it’s hot from the pan.

Brussels Sprouts with Carmelized Onion (p.127)

These Brussels sprouts are a December recipe, so when we add the citrus to this I’m reminded of my childhood in England, where candy and candle-decorated oranges called Christingles were part of a public school Christmas celebration.

Christingle: black and white illustration of a holiday orange with mini marshmallows and a lit candle in it
Invented in Germany in 1747, Christingles were popularized in by the Children’s Society in England in the late 1960s.

The sweetness of the citrus and carmelized onion work well with the bitterness of the cocoa nibs and Brussels sprouts. Remember to start making the rice about halfway through this recipe if you don’t already have some handy in a rice cooker!

Makes about 2 cups
Takes 60 minutes

1 tablespoon oil
1 large red onion, chopped
10 small Brussels sprouts, chopped
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 tablespoon cocoa nibs
1 orange or mandarin, separated into wedges
Salt and pepper
Cooked rice (optional)

Add the oil and onion to a pan and cook on medium heat for half an hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in the brussels sprouts, add 1/4 cup water, and continue cooking for another 15–20 minutes, stirring rarely. When you can’t take it any more and just have to eat the deliciousness that awaits, remove from heat, and add the mint and nibs. Add salt and pepper to taste, serve over rice, and garnish with the orange wedges.