Make the Most of Summer Strawberries

strawberries
Tasty, beautiful and versatile — strawberries are the crown jewel of summer produce.

Fresh, juicy strawberries are great on their own, but their sweet-tart personality also makes them endlessly versatile in the kitchen. Sure, they’re a classic choice for desserts, jams, icy treats and sauces, but they’re just as delicious paired with savoury flavours.

Here are 10 delicious ways to enjoy strawberries:

1. Strawberry fool

To make the fool, mashed strawberries are sweetened to taste with sugar and folded into clouds of freshly whipped cream. Spoon the fool into parfait glasses, garnish with sliced strawberries, chill and serve.

2. Freezer jam

Strawberries are a freezer jam favourite. Start by cleaning and mashing 4 cups of strawberries. Transfer the berries into a sturdy pot and bring to a simmer. Add 3/4 cup of honey and cook for 30 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning. The jam is ready when it reaches the desired consistency. Allow the jam to cool before transferring into jars. Ready to eat right away, this jam can be stored in the fridge for two weeks or stored in the freezer for up to six months.

3. Wraps

Sliced strawberries pair well with deli-sliced chicken or turkey, cheese and baby spinach for an easy portable lunch wrap. 

4. Stuffed strawberries

Once strawberries have been cleaned and hulled, they practically beg for delicious fillings. Go classic with whipped cream or use chilled chocolate hazelnut spread as a ready-made fudge-like filling. To keep things neat, use a piping bag.

5. Granita

Granitas are a delicious, frozen summertime treat. Sugar, basil, water, strawberries and balsamic vinegar are all you need for our Balsamic & Strawberry Granita. Make sure to freeze the granita in a shallow pan. Once it has been in the freezer for 30 minutes, remove it and scrape with a fork. Repeat this step five to six times, until ice crystals have formed.

6. Salad

This staple side should never be boring. Mix things up by introducing some sweetness to a typically savoury dish with sliced strawberries. A bed of peppery arugula helps balance out the sweet berries. Try: Strawberry & Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

7. Sauce

Surprisingly versatile strawberry-based sauces are a winner. The mild acidity of strawberries helps balance out rich meat dishes like roasted pork tenderloin. On the sweeter side of things, crêpes and strawberry coulis are a well-loved dessert pairing.

8. Vinaigrette

Sweet, tart and oh-so-easy to make, strawberry vinaigrette comes together in a snap. Place 1 cup of fresh strawberries, 1/4 cup of vinegar, 1/4 cup of oil, 1 tbsp of grainy Dijon mustard, a clove of garlic and salt and pepper in a blender, blitz until smooth, and store any remaining mixture in the refrigerator.

9. Bruschetta and salsa

Aromatic herbs like basil, cilantro and mint complement the sweetness of strawberries perfectly. For a twist on Italian bruschetta, dice the berries and toss them with thinly sliced basil. Serve the mix on toasted baguette slices finished with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Upgrade Mexican night with a salsa made with a cup each of diced strawberries and mango. Then layer in other ingredients: diced red onion, jalapeños and cilantro are all great choices. Add a drizzle of honey for sweetness. Finish the salsa with the zest and juice of one lime.

10. Drinks

Blended into a smoothie, daiquiri or sliced into a refreshing pitcher of Agua Fresca or Summer Fruit Champagne Cocktail, strawberries add a subtle sweetness to beverages.

 Shopping notes:

-     Choose strawberries that have their green stem fully attached

-     Smaller berries tend to be more flavourful

-     Refrigerate in a moisture-proof container and wash just before using