I just can't stop myself from buying summer berries at the moment; it's like a compulsion. There are generally at least two punnets of different fruits in the fridge at any one time, and sometimes they don't even get that far (like the handful of gooseberries I bought at Borough Market - the first I've had this year. They remind me of the time I took Junior Sis and Junior Bro berry picking a few years ago - Junior Bro was very keen on gooseberries until we got them home and he decided that actually it was rhubarb that he liked. I was going on holiday the next day so we passed them all on to Granny T. I'm sure they had a happy ending).
I like berries in all sort of dishes - crumbles, cakes, pies, muffins, sauces - but my top choice when they're freshly picked is plain perfection, perhaps with a little bit of sugar, or some Greek yogurt and a bit of honey or agave nectar. I found this recipe on Jamie Oliver's website the other day though, and had my fancy tickled because it was so elegantly simple: grilled strawberries with Pimm's. We had all the ingredients, and it sounded like a nice easy way to showcase two of the best tastes of summer. Having copied the recipe it's taken me a while to make it, but it's a nice lazy Sunday and it's the final of Wimbledon (we're watching it right now, at 9pm and it couldn't be closer) so I made a snap decision that today was the day. It's so quick I could nip out and make it practically between points - hull strawberries, mix with stem ginger, some stem ginger syrup, some Pimm's, and some vanilla pod seeds, and grill 'until bubbling and delicious-looking'. Ours didn't quite get to that stage both because of the lure of the tennis and because the best dish I could find was really a bit deep for effective grilling. It was still very good though: gingery and sweet but with the berries still intact and warm. I suspect that a better grilling technique (and we're talking about a grill in an oven here, not a BBQ by the way, though I'm sure you could adapt...) the syrup would have gone even more caramelly and lovely. Jamie recommended serving it with vanilla ice cream but we went for some more of my home-made mint. We both made appreciative noises while eating it, but we'll have to wait for this match to be over before we can properly put our minds to what we thought!
I'm sending this dish to Waiter, there's something in my... hosted by Cook Sister, and which has berried treasure as its theme this month. Championship point Nadal - must go...