It’s strawberry season, and that means sweet, bright red gems at an approachable price are donning the shelves of all of our local markets and giving us reason to visit the nearest “you pick” strawberry farm.
The cover of my favorite magazine, Southern Living, makes my mouth water this month with its windowsill presentation of their incredibly luscious looking Strawberry Dream Cake, and I can’t wait to try my hand at that recipe with my talented baking daughter at my side one day soon.
Sometimes, however, we all need our strawberry enjoyment to be simpler than the detailed preparation of a Strawberry Dream Cake. Let’s be honest – I don’t have the patience to wait that long to enjoy the berries when they’re luring me with the sweet tantalizing aroma that surely fills my home the moment they arrive in the kitchen!
A few weeks back, I brought home a flat of strawberries from my local farmer’s market, and without freezing a single strawberry, our family enjoyed the entire flat in just a few days by incorporating strawberries in simple ways into simple everyday meals. Nothing fancy here – just a sweet spring addition to everyday favorites. I thought I’d share these ideas with you lest you feel the social pressure to make elaborate cakes or assemble Mason Jar Strawberry Shortcakes as your only means to enjoy spring strawberries.
Here’s how we ate a flat of fresh strawberries in just a few short days without baking a fancy cake:
- Slice and serve fresh as a topping for Saturday morning waffles, pancakes and French toast.
- Make a “leftovers” salad with chopped strawberries and mesclun greens. Other great mixers for such a salad would include toasted pecans, roasted peanuts, red onions, blue cheese, green onions, juliennes of fresh basil or mint from the garden or even protein like leftover grilled chicken or shrimp.
- Mix strawberries and half and half with ice in a blender (add a bit of sugar to taste) for a refreshing and fresh afternoon “slushie” for the kids.
- For dessert, top vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt with fresh strawberries.
- Leave a small bowl of washed strawberries with stems on sitting in the fridge for grab-and-go snacking.
- Chop strawberries and add in a few leaves of julienned mint for a refreshing and easy fruit salad with any meal – perfect for an easy lunch side with sandwiches!
- Gently muddle a strawberry in the bottom of a glass of champagne to serve with weekend brunch or in the bottom of a classic Gin + Tonic with a twist of lime for a refreshing spring cocktail.
Enjoying the bounty of our Southern farms is often done best in simplicity! The flavors of our seasons shine brightest when enjoyed in their most honest form – without a lot of fanfare and complication.
>> Pinterest eye candy and magazine covers aside, what are YOUR family’s favorite, no-frills ways to enjoy farmer’s market fresh strawberries? Share this story on your favorite social media and tag us (Eat Y’all on Facebook / @letseatyall on Instagram and Twitter) to share your feedback.