(the strawberry-lemon trifle shines in the sunlight)

(ingredients rest on Vietnamese plaid silk)

Pierre Auguste Renoir, Strawberries, 1905
oil on canvas, 46 x 28 cm, Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris, France

One of my favorite blogs, Feasting on Art, is holding a contest to celebrate her first year of blogdom -- Written, cooked and photographed by Megan, the site is dedicated to the creator's love (and academic understanding) of fine art and food. She creates recipes inspired by art work, contemporary and traditional, then posts the results. Megan is an inspired individual, who's blog I really enjoy.

With all that said, I'm so excited to enter a contest again -- a few summers ago, I was a downright contest fool -- entering I think about 5 contests in a 2 month period. It was a lot of fun and I love finding new parameters I normally wouldn't impose on myself. I find barriers a means to transcend with new and innovative ideas! That's probably why I loved school so much -- assignments made me excited for the challenge (I'm 100% nerd, for sure.)

Anyway -- back to the task at hand -- The contest can be viewed here, but basically entails the participant to create an innovative recipe using the ingredients shown in the Renoir painting -- lemons and strawberries. While not two fruits I usually associate with pairing together, their bold tastes can stand so strong by themselves-- I was surprised and delighted with the marriage of flavors.

Being in Turkey at the moment, I knew I wanted to incorporate the richness of the luxurious strained yogurt into the dessert. And with the prominence of lemon juice in just about every dish here, sweet or savory, led me to thinking of a lemon reduction sauce. Lastly, the almond cookies so popular in all the pastry shops would have to make an appearance, especially since I don't have an oven at the moment -- What would bind it all together? Strawberries within a trifle! Thus, I give you STRAWBERRY & LEMON TRIFLE, TURKISH STYLE.

This is a simple recipe, more just an assembly of perfectly ripe and flavorful elements. It would be perfect after a pizza dinner or baked potato -- it's very light and refreshing, a great palate cleanser. The trifle also makes a delicious mid-afternoon snack.

Strawberry & Lemon Trifle, Turkish Style
juice from 2 lemons
2 or 3 hazelnut cookies, broken into smallish pieces (you could substitute shortbread or digestive biscuit, if you don't have hazelnut cookies on hand)
3 tbsp sugar
2 c chopped strawberries
1 handful chopped almonds
1 c strained plain yogurt ("Greek" as called in the US)

Juice the lemons, pouring the juice and 1 tbsp sugar into small sauce pan on medium heat. Reduce into a lemon syrup, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Chop strawberries and stir in 1 tbsp of sugar, let marinate on counter about 20 minutes. Stir in last tbsp of sugar into the plain yogurt. Chop almond and crumble cookies slightly.

Now get all your ingredients out and ready, layering about 1 heaping tbsp of each ingredient, pouring a little lemon syrup onto each layer as well. It doesn't matter what order of ingredients you choose, just try to stick with the order you decide, for a nice presentation. Finish with a little extra lemon syrup on top of the individual trifle, to really unify all the flavors.

You could make one large bowl, traditional trifle style, or serve individually, as I've done here.


  1. YUMMERS!! i love strawberries. good luck with the contest.

  2. Yay! Amazing! That blog really is so neat, thanks for sharing it with me, congrats!

  3. What a great idea! This isn't a food recipe per se, but there's a recipe for a homemade strawberry-lemon face mask, if you want to take a look: http://jadekeller.com/2009/06/pamper-yourself-madly/

  4. First of all I love that table cloth! The pattern is so pretty and screams summer.

    This trifle looks delicious. I love how you left it simple to really exemplify the flavors of the strawberry.