Chefs who use fresh, local, seasonal ingredients on their menu will admit that they are not hard to work with because the flavor is at its best when it arrives in their kitchens. Dress them up with this lemon ginger simple syrup for a special touch.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 lemon zested and juiced, divided use
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger root peeled, cut into 3 pieces and crushed
- 2 teaspoons anise seed crushed
- 9 plums firm, ripe, pitted, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
- 1 cup raspberries or blackberries
- Fresh mint leaves to garnish
- Strips of lemon zest to garnish
In a small saucepan bring the water and sugar to a boil along with the lemon zest, 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice, ginger root and anise seed. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sugar is dissolved stirring once or twice. Cool the syrup and strain through a fine-meshed sieve and set aside. (Syrup can be made two days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container.)
Toss the fruits and berries together in a large bowl along with the remaining lemon juice and the cooled syrup. Garnish with lemon zest and fresh mint leaves. Serve immediately or cover and chill for 8 hours before serving.
Makes 8 servings.
Photo by Jodi Miller