I finally live in a warm climate where fields of sweet, farm fresh strawberries are ripe for picking basket fulls in the early Spring.

This recipe is from Sarasota, Florida, chef, Judi Gallagher. Judi also hails from New England. We are both thrilled to find several local U-pick farms open while the snowbirds and visitors are in Florida.

Her recipe for Strawberries Romanoff is an 1960’s classic. She serves it with a sliced shortcake biscuit or scone.

Strawberries Romanoff
Serves 6-8 or 4-6 if it is the Hill Team devouring this old favorite.

2 pints strawberries washed and stemmed.
Note: best when consumed less than 24 hours after picking… no problem in our home.
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange liqueur… i.e. Grand Marnier or Cointreau
1 pint vanilla ice cream… I prefer Haagen-Dazs or fat rich ice cream. This is not diet food.
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons zest of orange
6-8 whole berries

Slice the berries. Toss three-quarters of them with sugar and orange liqueur in a large bowl. Refrigerate at least one hour to macerate.

Put ice cream in the fridge to soften.
Put the cream and half of the macerated strawberries in a cold mixing bowl. With an electric mixer, whip to soft peaks, about 12 minutes. Fold in the ice cream.

Distribute the ice cream among 6 tall martini glasses.
Mix the plain berries with the remaining macerated berries and place on top of the cream. Garnish with a whole berry (stem on) and grated orange zest.

I also add a fresh mint leaf from the herb garden to the top.

To serve with this old, decadent dessert, I prefer a well chilled cuvée rose’ brut.

You can find more of Judi’s recipes and Sarasota dining out suggestions on her blog, Foodie’s Notebook, on http://www.sarasotamagazine.com.

Another Sarasota wine and food tycoon is Michael Klauber, who recently returned from the wine regions of South America. Michael’s preferred rose’ is Laurent-Perrier, for the added flavor.

Brenda Hill
Where and What In the World