This is the fruit that tells me it’s summer. I refuse to buy strawberries until at least May, if not June, but once summer hits, I let loose! I really recommend buying these babies organic, as they are near the top of the “Dirty Dozen” list and their delicate skin shouldn’t be marred by pesticides! I tell you what, there is nothing like the smell of really ripe berries, whether you’re eating them on top of yogurt for breakfast, in a fruit salad for lunch, or macerated as an accompaniment to a rice pilaf or something for dinner.
-Strawberries and cream is a popular dessert at Wimbeldon
-Strawberry pigment extract can be used as an acid/base indicator in chemical reactions
-Strawberries are in season here in June and July
-Eat strawberries soon after they are ripe (deep red with a strong “strawberry” smell)
-Store strawberries in refrigerator drawers or bins (or ventilated fruit containers) to increase humidity and decrease air circulation
-1 cup of strawberries contains 141% of your recommended daily value of Vitamin C
-Strawberries have a great antioxidant capacity: they rank 3rd (behind blackberries and walnuts) in proportion of antioxidants to mass
-Strawberries help minimize the increase in blood sugar levels when an excess of table sugar has been consumed
-Make strawberries the star of a fruit salsa
-Someone special have a birthday this summer? Surprise them with this cake!
-Don’t miss “my” spinach strawberry salad!
If you’ve never had macerated strawberries (with something other than plain sugar!), you just haven’t lived! There are all sorts of versions, but balsamic is pretty typical. Serve this with ice cream, on top of pound cake or biscuits, with whipped cream, or even with something a bit more savory, like goat cheese.
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
8 to 10 medium fresh basil leaves
In a large bowl, gently toss the strawberries with the sugar and vinegar. Let sit at room temperature until the strawberries have released their juices but are not yet mushy, about 30 minutes. (Don’t let the berries sit for more than 90 minutes, or they’ll start to collapse.)
Just before serving, stack the basil leaves on a cutting board and roll them vertically into a loose cigar shape. Using a sharp chef’s knife, very thinly slice across the roll to make a fine chiffonade of basil.
Portion the strawberries and their juices among four small bowls and scatter with the basil to garnish.
Holly R. Layer received a B. A. in Journalism from Penn State and served four years in the U. S. Air Force before deciding to go back to school to become a Registered Dietician. She loves running, reading, fine stationery, colorful kitchen gadgets and ALL things food-related. An avid cook and baker, you can find her in the kitchen most days whipping up something yummy. Too bad her husband, Andrew (an East Aurora native) is the pickiest man alive! You can find her at www.thefrozenpineapple.com.