After a heavy lunch and several super tight hugs to all the lovely folks, I left from Carmel Valley Ranch with a bag full of goodies from the CA Strawberries Tour. My chauffeur (yes, I got a fancy ride for the tour) was a very interesting tall lady with grey hair and a very loving personality. What I assumed to be a boring drive, which is why I even carried a book with me, turned out to be quite the opposite. We chatted the whole time! We discussed recipes, seasonal ingredients, cherry picking, strawberry picking and how it gave her a back ache the next day. The two hours just flew by!
On arriving home, I was motivated from all the food talk. Had a quick glance of the goodies, did a quick instagram (it’s like a ritual these days) and immediately jotted down the recipe idea that was hovering on my mind.
Roasting fruit always brings out the flavor; it’s more perfumed and robust. And when you throw in some sea salt along with freshly powdered whole fennel seeds plus balsamic vinegar, it takes the strawberries to a whole new level of flavor fiesta! Now, try not to lick all that roasted strawberries straight from the hot pan. Let me warn you, it will smell divine and it will be extremely difficult to resist. But save some to enjoy it slowly after you make the delicious froyo!
I made the frozen yogurt twice in the same week and I used non-fat plain chobani greek yogurt during the second time. Thanks to the Chobani guys for sending me a huge box to sample. Earlier, I had made the same froyo with another brand yogurt and it was really good but with chobani greek yogurt, it was so much better. It was much smoother and creamier, almost like ice cream.
Since greek yogurt is already thick, you don’t have to strain it before making the frozen yogurt. However, I would still suggest you to extract out any amount of water that is there. It will be worth the effort as the end result will be richer. The froyo was not overly sweet, had the right balance of tartness and creaminess giving that perfect depth of flavor from the roasted strawberries.
- 1 lb strawberries, cut in half or quarter
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon powdered fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 lb greek yogurt, I used chobani
- Place a kitchen towel on a colander and drop the yogurt in it. Tie the ends of kitchen towel tightly and extract the water. Let it rest on the colander and keep a heavy jar or bowl on top of the tied kitchen towel. It will help straining all the water. Allow it to set in the refrigerator overnight.
- In a baking pan, add strawberries, balsamic vinegar, powdered fennel seeds and salt. Let it bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Allow it to cool completely and then blend it to a puree.
- In a bowl, add strained yogurt and roasted strawberries puree along with sugar and whisk. Check for sugar. If you want it sweeter, add more sugar.
- At this stage, you can pour it in a container and let it rest in the refrigerator to set for few hours or churn it in your ice cream machine.