Fresh Strawberry Horchata
Last weekend we had the honor of joining Pablo and Maura Silva, of Silva Family Farm, for their son's 1st and daughter's 3rd birthday party. The food was extraordinary and the desserts divine. What stood out most, however, was the large pink jug of strawberry and cantaloupe horchata right upon walking in the door. You can make the traditional way and soak your own rice, or if you'd like a shortcut, rice milk is readily available in stores*.
1 cup white rice
1 cinnamon stick
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup brown or white cane sugar
2 cups strawberries
5 cups water
1 cup cantaloupe
Put rice, cinnamon stick and 3 cups water into a bowl. Allow to sit for two+ hours. In a blender, place one cup strawberries and two cups water. Blend and reserve in separate container. Rinse blender. Towards the end of the two hours, slice the remaining cup of strawberries and chop the cup of cantaloupe into bite-sized pieces. After the two+ hours have gone by, add rice mixture and sugar, vanilla and milk to the blender. Blend until rice breaks. Strain blended rice mixture (the horchata) into a pitcher through either a fine sieve or cheese cloth. Then strain the strawberry mixture into same pitcher and stir. Add ice, sliced strawberries and chopped cantaloupe and serve in your favorite glassware or party cups. You can re-use the strawberry pulp in baked goods or beverages. Discard rice and cinnamon pulp.
*If using rice milk, skip the rice oriented steps above and substitute with 3 cups unsweetened rice milk.
Fresh organic Silva Family Farm strawberries can be found at our farm store (open 7 days a week) and the Edison Farmers Market on Sundays from 10-2. Strawberry season is late May through October (and slows down during the month of August). Come get your hands on some while you can and freeze at home for a year of strawberry goods!