- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Fresh, ripe berries in season just scream to be eaten, no instructions necessary. All we need is to get them to the house and in front of us.

The rest falls deliciously into place.

Once in a while, though, plain berries — exquisite though they are on their own — can use just a touch of dressing up. This recipe is a case in point.

The addition of a little buttermilk, a touch of sweetening and a sprig of fresh mint can extend the snack experience into a perfect light breakfast or healthy dessert.

Fresh berries, of course, are wonderful, but I also like to make this dish with frozen raspberries, blackberries or blueberries.

While defrosting, they produce deeply colored, flavorful juices that can become part of the finished dish. If you’re using frozen berries, defrost them right in the bowls so all their juices will be included.

If you’re making this with strawberries, use only fresh ones that are perfectly ripe and in season. (They don’t work as well as the other berries if they’ve been frozen first.) Slice them thinly ahead of time, and let them sit for about 15 minutes before adding the buttermilk.

Serve berries in buttermilk for breakfast with whole-grain toast, scones, steel-cut oatmeal or pancakes. Or pair it with just about any entree as a light and refreshing dessert.

Berries in buttermilk

½ cup berries (fresh or frozen and defrosted)

3/4 cup cold buttermilk

Sugar to taste (about 1½ to 2 teaspoons per serving)

Small sprigs of fresh mint

Divide the berries between two serving bowls, then do the same with the buttermilk.

Stir gently, sweeten to taste and either serve right away or cover tightly and refrigerate for up to a day, then serve cold.

Garnish with a small sprig of fresh mint just before serving. Makes 2 servings, but can easily be multiplied.


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