Strawberry season has finally arrived here in the Granite State and the sweet, juicy berries were worth the wait.
The season is behind schedule this year due to the cold, wet weather we’ve experienced in late spring this year.
Strawberries have to remain attached to the plant to ripen because they don’t ripen once they are removed from the plant, so strawberries that are ripening can turn to mush pretty quickly when they’re sitting in wet soil.
If you pick up fresh, local strawberries, you will notice they’re much more fragrant than the ones you pick up at the grocery store. The color is usually a deeper red, too, and the flavor is sweeter. There’s nothing like it.
I picked some strawberries over the weekend and added them to a salad of field greens with some Persian cucumbers, avocado, radicchio, purple cabbage and finely sliced mini bell peppers. For a dressing, I made a pomegranate-molasses and honey mustard combination that went well with the sweet flavor of the strawberries.
Another treat was a fresh take on strawberry shortcake. Instead of making shortcakes, I took a short cut and used some lemon scones from a local bakery and made a strawberry-rhubarb sauce to drizzle over the scones. A little whipped cream finished the dish and the lemon scone made an excellent shortcake replacement. If you want an even better New Hampshire twist, maple scones would be a great alternative, too.
Sometimes the simplest preparation can yield delicious results, so I served fresh strawberries with creamy burrata cheese drizzled with local honey and finished with a pinch of cinnamon. This dish gives strawberries and cream a whole new take and putting it together takes just a couple of minutes.
I blended the rest of my strawberry haul with coconut cream, a little lemon juice and a bit of sugar and stuck it in the freezer. When I took it out of the freezer, it was frozen solid making it difficult to eat, so I left it on the counter for about 15 minutes to allow it to soften.
Once softened, you could really appreciate the incredible flavor of the strawberries and the texture was nice and creamy. If you’re looking for a quick and easy dairy-free treat, this is an excellent option.
Strawberry Avocado Summer Salad
3/4 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
3 cups field greens
1/2 cup purple cabbage, shredded
3/4 cup radicchio, torn
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
2 Persian (mini) cumbers, sliced
1/2 cup mini colored peppers, sliced
Add the field greens, cabbage and radicchio to a bowl and toss to combine. Spread the lettuce on a serving platter and top with remaining ingredients. Drizzle with pomegranate mustard dressing before serving.
Pomegranate Mustard Dressing
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon honey mustard
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons shallot, minced
Add all ingredients to a lidded container and shake well to combine.
Lemon Scones with Fresh Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce
4 lemon scones (buy at the store)
1/2 cup rhubarb, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
2-3 tablespoons water
4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced, divided
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish, if desired
whipped cream, for serving, if desired
fresh mint, for garnish, if desired
Slice scones in half horizontally (to remove the tops) and set aside. Add the rhubarb and lemon juice to a saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Simmer for 7 to 8 minutes. Add water a tablespoon at a time as needed if the lemon juice evaporates to ensure the rhubarb doesn’t burn.
Once the rhubarb has softened, add the sugar, half the strawberries and a tablespoon of water and simmer for an additional 7-8 minutes or until the strawberries are cooked down and the sauce has started to thicken.
Remove from heat and let stand about 10 minutes. Set the bottom of the scones on serving plates, spoon a couple of tablespoons of sauce on the scone, then add enough fresh strawberries to cover. Drizzle another spoonful of sauce over the fresh strawberries, then add the tops of the scones. Add remaining fresh strawberries and drizzle with remaining sauce. Top with whipped cream before serving and garnish with pomegranate seeds and mint, if desired.
Sliced Strawberries with Burrata Cheese and Honey
3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup burrata cheese
3 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
fresh mint for garnish, if desired
Add strawberries to a serving dish. Spoon the cheese next to the strawberries, then drizzle honey over strawberries and cheese. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the cheese. Garnish with mint before serving, if desired.
Iced Strawberry Coconut Cream
13.5 oz. can coconut cream
3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
Add the coconut cream, strawberries, lemon juice and sugar to a food processor and process until smooth. Add to a lidded container and set in the freezer overnight to freeze. To serve, remove from freezer and let soften for about 15 minutes before serving.