Local Strawberries are Here!
Strawberry season is here! After asparagus, we so look forward to the delightful sweet tanginess of red, ripe strawberries. They are so good, we could eat them every day! Even if you just eat them because they taste so darn good, it’s nice to know that strawberries are a great source of vitamins C, B, and A as well as minerals and phytonutrients. Be sure to always buy organic strawberries as conventional berries are at the top of the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list of veggies/fruits that are contaminated with the highest levels of pesticides. Oryana sells organic strawberries from Ware Farm in Bear Lake.
Peruse these recipes to give you some mouthwatering ideas for how to eat your strawberries, besides the most fun way, which is to just pop them in your mouth unadorned in all their natural glory!
Strawberry and Grilled Halloumi Salad
Mix of fresh romaine lettuce and arugula, chopped, enough for 4 servings
½ a red onion, sliced thin
1 pint strawberries, washed, halved (quartered if very large)
1 package halloumi cheese, sliced ¼ inch thick
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
sea salt and black pepper to taste
Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
- Heat a grill to medium. Clean grill rack and oil with an olive oil soaked paper towel clasped in tongs. Carefully place cheese slices on grill and cook for 2 minutes or until browned and grill marked. Flip carefully (you will probably lose at least 1 slice to the grill gods!) and cook on other side for another 1 or 2 minutes.
- Arrange lettuce, onion slices and strawberries on 4 plates. Drizzle with dressing and top with hot cheese slices. Serve immediately.
Halloumi is made from goat’s milk and comes from Cyprus. It is a sturdy cheese that does not melt. It’s wonderful for frying or grilling.
Grilling the halloumi slices. It’s challenging to keep them from falling through the grill.
Strawberry Spinach Smoothie
1 cup liquid such as juice, milk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc.
1/2 cup plain yogurt or coconut yogurt
1 cup local strawberries
2 handfuls fresh local spinach
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Add spinach and liquid to blender first and blend a few seconds to break down the spinach. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Serves 2.
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
8 oz semisweet organic chocolate chips
1 pound organic strawberries, large if possible, washed and dried well, stems intact
Place chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally, until melted, about 10 minutes. (You could also melt chocolate in a glass bowl in a microwave oven.) Remove from heat. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. One at a time, dip each strawberry in chocolate, twirling to coat and place on waxed paper. Chill strawberries 15 minutes to set chocolate. Serve immediately.
Strawberry Arugula Salad
½ pint strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Pepper to taste
1 bunch arugula, washed and dried in a salad spinner
½ cup goat cheese, crumbled
½ cup pecans, chopped and lightly toasted
Whisk vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper in a small bowl and toss with strawberries,
arugula, cheese and pecans. Serve immediately.
Lemon Cakes with Strawberries and Cream
Makes 12 cakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
finely grated zest from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cups natural cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cups milk
1 pint strawberries, washed, hulled, sliced
1 pint heavy cream
2 teaspoons natural cane sugar
- Heat oven to 350. Line a cupcake pan with paper cups or spray with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, lemon zest and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla.
- Add flour mixture and milk alternately, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Divide batter evenly among cups. Bake for 20 minutes until tops spring back when touched. Let cool for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- While cakes are baking, add cream and sugar to a bowl and whip until fluffy. Don’t overwhip. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To serve, peel off paper cup from a cake, cut a cake in half and place on a plate. Spoon on a generous serving of strawberries, top with the other cake half and a big dollop of whipped cream.