Grown-Up Lunch: Peanut Butter and Roasted Strawberries

Way back when we had our Brown Bag Challenge, many of you tweeted about your favorite BYO-lunch: the classic Peanut Butter and Jelly. It’s true, nothing conjures up the comfort of home quite like a soft, sticky, smooth PBJ. But it got me thinking: we’re “grown-ups” now (er…sorta) — maybe it’s time for a grown-up twist on a classic. So I got to work on rejiggering the flavors of the old standby, just enough to make it interesting, but not so much that it doesn’t still spell comfort.

The first of these was the most straightforward riff on strawberry jam: peanut butter with roasted strawberries. I originally tested this during strawberry season, but I recently re-did it with frozen strawberries and the results were equally delightful. Stay tuned for more twists on the lunchtime favorite!

Lily Bellow graduated in 2009 from Harvard University with a degree in English Literature. While in college, she bartended and cooked at the campus pub, and as a result has a difficult time eating chicken wings. She is the Managing Editor for Small Kitchen College.

**Recipes**

Roasted Strawberry PBJ
Makes 2 sandwiches

Ingredients
4 slices whole grain or french country bread, whichever you prefer
3-4 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 batch roasted strawberries, recipe follows

Warm your bread in the oven or microwave, or if you prefer, lightly toast.

Spread about 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter (depending on your taste for peanut butter) on each slice of bread.

Spoon a healthy dollop (probably about 2-3 tablespoons, again, depending on taste) of strawberries onto each of the 2 remaining slices of plain bread.

Sandwich together. Crusts optional.

Roasted Strawberries
Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day
Makes enough for at least 2 PBJs, with more to spoon over ice cream for dessert

Ingredients
8 ounces small to medium strawberries, hulled
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt, or generous pinch of Maldon salt
1 tablespoon sherry
A few drops balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (juices will run).

If you are using frozen berries, let thaw for a couple of hours and drain their juices. Cut each strawberry in half. If your strawberries are large, cut them into quarters. Add the berries to a mixing bowl.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, honey, olive oil, and salt. Spon over the strawberries and toss to coat the berries. Arrange the strawberries in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Roast for about 40 minutes, just long enough for the berry juices to thicken, but not long enough for the juices to burn. Watch the edges of the pan in particular.

While still warm, scrape the berries and juices into a small bowl. Stir in the sherry and balsamic vinegar. Use immediately or let cool and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Originally posted on Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

4 Responses to “Grown-Up Lunch: Peanut Butter and Roasted Strawberries”

  1. Mariah

    November 9th, 2011

    This looks delicious!

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    [...] like a no-brainer, seeing as sandwiches are the quintessential school lunch food. The classics like PB&J are still welcome in college, but more sophisticated and nutritious wraps are also a good option [...]

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    March 29th, 2012

    [...] got for breakfast and plop an egg between those s(m)uckers. The jarred stuff is great and homemade is even better. Don’t forget about savory jams like tomato, onion and especially [...]

  4. PB&J Remix | gastronomaly

    August 28th, 2012

    [...] strawberries would taste refreshing and render a lighter, less sugar-ladden substitution. The recipe in the bottom picture features roasted strawberries. Since I’ve tried them out a handful of times, I can vouch [...]

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