Seasonal strawberry recipes

Posted on: 07 June 2010 by Mark O'haire

June's the month when the strawberries just keep coming and coming. If you have a glut, try some of these ideas.

Surprisingly, strawberries are a member of the rose family and are the only fruit which bears its seeds on the outside. 

They have a long history dating back to the ever civilized Romans who were cultivating them to consume at their many banquets as early as 300BC.  The fruit played a more important role to the majority in the Medieval period where they were considered a potent aphrodisiac, so much so that a strawberry soup made with borage and cream was served to newly-weds on their marriage night. 

This romantic allusion is probably the remnants of a much older notion found in Teutonic Legend.  Strawberries were associated with the pagan godess Frigga, wife of Odin, who represented married love and was the goddess of the clouds.  Legend has it, she stole children who had cried, hid them in the fruit and sent them to the clouds in heaven. 

Like all the berry family, strawberries are full of healthy nutrients.  They are rich in vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and potent anti-oxidents which protect the eye sight and help combat age-related illness including cancer.  They also contain the soluble fibre pectin, which helps lower cholesterol. 

Strawberry Recipes Ideas

Strawberries are synonymous with whipped double cream, but at this time of year, when they are brimming with flavour, why not try a healthier option?  Try them sliced with a dash of fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar like the Italians.  Alternatively, add a dash of port.  Try seasoning them with black pepper too, it really does bring out another side to their flavour.

Need breakfast on the run or a quick, healthy snack?  Blend a handful of strawberries in half a pint of milk for the tastiest strawberry milkshake.  Add a pinch of sugar if it is a little tart and crushed ice.  You can also blend them into plain yogurt for a quick dessert.  Serve in wine glasses with a sprig of mint or basil on top. 

If you have an amount which isn't suitable for eating as it is, blend the strawberries up in a blender to create a deep red strawberry puree.  Freeze it in ice cube trays and melt as required for milshakes, ice cream and other puddings.  A few melted ice cubes will also taste divine over simple barbecued chicken breasts, seasonsed with plenty of pepper.

Like many fruit, strawberries are great in salads.  Try a simple side salad of sliced cucumber, strawberries and a few sprigs of mint, guaranteed to refresh the palate after any barbecued dish.  Alternatively, try sliced strawberries, mouli (Chinese radish) and Braeburn apples topped with fresh sweet basil leaves and dressed with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Strawberries, with or without grapes, liven up any cheese board.  Try them with the creamier cheese such as dolcelatte, goats cheese, brie and camembert.  Buy a whole round of brie or camembert in a wooden box.  Remove the cheese from the plastic wrap and return it to it's wooden box.  Place in a moderate oven (150 degrees C) for ten minutes for a delicious and simple cheese fondue.  Eat with strawberries, celery, apples, pineapple and baby tomatoes.

A classic pavlova never goes amiss when strawberries are in season.  If you don't fancy making one yourself, buy ready made meringue cases, fill with cream or yogurt and top with plenty of strawberries.

If you have quick and simple strawberry recipes, why not share them on the 50connect forums. 

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