A bowl of jewel-bright berries is like summer on a plate.
Stewed just lightly with a dash of lemon juice and zest and served with a punch of fresh aniseed basil makes it a dinner party dream. It's also wildly healthy and low-cal, and fits into Tim Noakes' Real Meal Revolution eating plan.
No sugar is used to stew the berries - we rely on a dash of apple juice for a little added sweetness to counteract the sharpness of the lemon.
Berries are the lowest-sugar fruit, and ideal for snacking on along with a handful of nuts. They're also packed full of health-boosting anti-oxidants and vitamins.
Tip: Try swapping in thyme for basil, it adds a lovely unique freshness.
Blistered Lemony Berries with Clotted Vanilla Cream
Serves 2 | Preparation time 10 minutes
2 cups mixed berries
2 Tbsp apple juice
2 Tbsp water
Juice and zest of half a lemon
2-4 Tbsp thick cream
1/2 vanilla pod, or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Fresh basil leaves, to serve (or use mint)
1. Add the berries, apple juice, water, lemon juice and zest to a pot that is on medium-high heat. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the berries have just softened but still hold their shape. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, mix your thick cream together with the vanilla and whisk gently until combined and a bit thicker.
3. Serve the berries immediately along with a dollop of cream and a few basil leaves.
You could also use frozen berries, just stew for a minute extra.
Add in a dash of cinnamon and a star anise for something a little spicy and fragrant.
Sarah Graham is author of 'Bitten' and blogs with us on Food24. Follow her on twitter @foodieliveshere.
- Sarah Graham