Strawberries Romanoff

Need a quick Passover dessert? Need a quick springtime dessert?

One of my favorites is Strawberries Romanoff, an old old recipe from long ago that’s so good it has endured for almost two centuries.

Supposedly Strawberries Romanoff was created in the mid-19th century by world-famous chef Antoine Careme for the Czar of Russia (Nicholas I). But it may have been invented by Prince Michael Romanoff, who once owned a restaurant in Beverly Hills, wasn’t related to the Russian royal family, wasn’t a prince and whose real name was Hershel Geguzin. Whatever — the Hollywood elite loved his place.

And I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Strawberries Romanoff. It’s a mixture of fresh springtime strawberries — try to get the small, local ones instead of those wintery, huge, cotton-textured berries from who knows where — mixed with orange juice and brandy. It takes just a couple of minutes to mix together.

Strawberries Romanoff is usually served with whipped cream, but you can serve them plain or with sorbet.

Strawberries Romanoff

2 pints strawberries

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup orange flavored brandy

3 tablespoons orange juice

sprigs of mint, candied orange peel, etc. as garnish

whipped cream or sorbet

Wash the berries and slice them into a bowl. Sprinkle with the sugar and pour in the brandy and orange juice. Toss the ingredients and let rest for at least one hour, tossing the ingredients occasionally. Serve plain with a garnish or mint leaves or candied orange peel. Or serve with whipped cream or sorbet. Makes 6 servings