StrawberriesJun 18th, 2012 | By Ali Goodwin | Category: Breakfast + Brunch, Food + Cooking, Local + Sustainable, Recipes, Seasonal Flavors, Sweets
The Northeast (zones 3-7 in a seed catalog) plays host to an incredible variety of strawberries. The most well-known varieties fall into larger categories called June Bearers, Ever Bearers, and Day-Neutral. Popular June Bearers like “All Star” and ”Red Chief” are likely to show up later in June, with other, hardier varieties showing up as early as May. Everbearing strawberries like “Tristar” will continue to bear repeat crops through the fall. The “Tribute’s” medium to large, firm fruit is available throughout the season and is one of the most popular of the eastern Day-Neutral varieties.
WHY YOU SHOULD TRY
Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, folate, potassium, and manganese. They are very low in cholesterol, saturated fat, and sodium. (Not to mention luscious!)
HOW TO SELECT AND STORE
Strawberries should be firm and free of mold, with a deep red color to their stems. They are extremely perishable and should be used within days of purchase. Before storing, remove any strawberries that have mold or damage to prevent contaminating others. Store in a covered container in
the refrigerator. For freezing, wash and
remove the stem and cap. Dry them thoroughly then lay them flat on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen, transfer them to a sturdy plastic bag for future use.
BEST METHODS TO PREPARE
These jewels of the summer season can be grilled, chopped, baked, pied, jammed, blended, sauced, jellied, or eaten fresh off the vine while barefoot! Baking and canning with strawberries are the usual methods of preparation, adding them to a skewer and grilling them with other fruits like pears and apples makes for a great summer salad topping.
Dipping fresh strawberries in sour cream and brown sugar is one of summer’s best kept secrets. They can also be mashed with a little honey and drizzled over pancakes or waffles. Chopped and mixed with rhubarb makes for a joyously sweet and tangy pie. Topping yogurt, cereal, or a spinach and goat cheese salad is also a favorite.
Easy Strawberry Shortcake
For Strawberry Topping
- 1 quart (4 cups) strawberries, sliced
- 1/4 cup sugar reserve
- 2 1/3 cups Original Bisquick® mix
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
1. Heat oven to 425°F. In large bowl, mash strawberries and 1⁄4 cup sugar; set aside.
2. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk, 1⁄4 cup sugar and the butter until soft dough forms. On ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by (6) spoonfuls.
3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, in small bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.
4. Serve shortcakes warm; top with strawberries and whipped cream.
Strawberry Banana Peach Muffins
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 to 3/4 cups peach juice
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 very ripe banana, mashed
- 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- Raw Sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a jumbo (Texas) muffin pan.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl, making sure to mix well.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together all wet ingredients, including the banana.
4. Combine all ingredients in the large bowl, add strawberries, and hand mix until just combined. The batter should be wet but not runny. If it seems too dry, add touches of juice until it is mixable. Do not over mix.
5. Fill muffin cups completely. This will result in a nice round top. Sprinkle with raw sugar.
6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until centers are firm to the touch, and tops are just beginning to brown. A smaller muffin pan can be used, just reduce the cooking time by 10 minutes.
Makes 5–6 Jumbo Muffins
Photographs by Ali Goodwin.