What do you do with your Fresh Strawberries ?
- Boccone Dolce Mar 1, 2008 03:12 PM
I have 1/2 a flat -fresh from Plant City and they are making me nervous. I rinse the dirt, hull and eat as-is, but there are so many........ Shortcake is boring-what simple things do you do with your fresh berries?
i posted this recently in a salad thread, it's really delicious. i found champagne vinegar at my local whole foods.
mix some bagged mixed greens, sliced strawberries, fresh grated parm or other good hard cheese, pine nuts, minced shallots & couple pinches fleur de sel (or sea salt or kosher salt if you don't have FdS) together
toss with some olive oil
retoss with some champagne vinegar
the champagne vinegar is lovely with the strawberries. depending on how sweet the strawberries are you can also reduce the vinegar a little (sweeter=reduced, nice contrast). i think my lazy trick for vinaigrettes is to toss everything with the oil before tossing with the vinegar, it keeps the vinegar from seeping into the greens and making them bitter. also you don't have to dirty another dish mixing it up (never understood that).
Yes, I live in SW Florida and we've been enjoying the strawberries for about a month or so now...I adore them cut up with banana in my Fage 0% yogurt each morning, with a few drops of honey...just delicious. Also love sliced strawberries with fresh pineapple...the pineapple, though, has been VERY expensive!
I prefer them unadorned, but if it looks like the quality is going to suffer because we can't eat them fast enough I usually slice, lightly sugar and freeze. I let them sit a bit to draw out the juices before I plop them in the freezer. Taken out I either let them sit a bit and then eat like a semi frozen sorbet or thaw out in microwave and use to sauce something. I picked up the season's first from the local farm stand yesterday and tried storing them in a glass jar as I had previously read about here. Did not get a chance to test the method since we ate them all up today. Opening the jar was a nice sensory experience- essence of stawberry.
When under stress, I freeze--no sugar. (hull them first) I throw them into the food processor with a frozen banana, blueberries, and plain yogurt with just a squeeze of fresh lime juice or orange. Or strawberry pie.
re: King of Northern Blvd
This works great. Don't wash them (brush off any dirt), but do cull any that have started to mould. Put them into a glass (or even a sturdy plastic) jar with a really tight-fitting lid -- the flour canisters with the plastic seals work fantastically -- and put them in the fridge. They'll last at least two weeks.
As for what actually to do with them?? Eat them with balsamic vinegar and pepper... or with sugar and Mexican crema. Or split them most of the way, fill the crack with goat cheese, batter, deep-fry and serve with honey.
I like to make pie. Either buy (a deep-dish crust) or make a crust, and bake it.
Clean and slice strawberries.
Make a glaze - the recipe I have uses pureed strawberries, sugar and cornstarch.
Pour it over the strawberries, and put in the fridge to set.
Cut slices, top with whipped cream, and enjoy.
You could also make jam. Or strawberry bread. I have a recipe that makes two large loaves, and it freezes well for later.
Or you could send some to my husband, who will eat a quart unadorned all by himself at one sitting. :) We are anxiously awaiting local strawberry season here!
I slice 'em up, toss with some fig-balsamic vinegar (sweeter than the plain kind), and sometimes sprinkle with a little brown sugar.
Or I mix some brown sugar with ricotta or sour cream, and use it as a dip for the berries.
For breakfast, I slice them up and gently mash with a fork, and mix into oatmeal made with milk and some maple syrup. It's a healthier, and actually tastier, version of that instant strawberries-and-cream oatmeal.
Make liqueur. Then you can enjoy the berries at your leisure. I made some fantastic strawberry liqueur (one of my most successful efforts) last summer. This recipe is adapted from "Cordials from Your Kitchen":
2 cups strawberries, stemmed and washed
2 cups sugar
3 cups rose (i.e. wine)
1 cup brandy
1/2 cup 100-proof vodka
1 tsp lemon zest
1 cinnamon stick
Crush strawberries and sugar together in a bowl. Transfer to a clean, 2-quart container with tight-fitting lid and let stand for an hour. Add remaining ingredients. Cover tightly and let steep in a cool, dark place for 3 days, shaking whenever you happen to think about it. Strain out solids with fine mesh strainer, transfer to clean container, cover, and let stand another week. Filter into final container and let age for at least a month before serving. Makes about 2 quarts [note: that's what recipe says, but it's more like 1.5 quarts].
There are also lots of recipes to be found online for hypocras, a traditional strawberry liqueur.
Here's some more info
For some reason, a paper towel is not a good idea. I've never bothered with the condensation since I figure the more you handle the berries the more they bruise. Two weeks is a lot of time.
This is even better with rapsberries ... I've had some seam to pep up after a day in a glass jar rather than turning into the usual moldy mush.
As the above link says grapes, tomatoes and mushrooms take kindly to glass jars.
How about an open-faced tart lined with mint custard? Blind-bake a tart shell and line with a mint pastry cream:
1 c milk
small handful of fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
5 Tbsp sugar
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
Scald the milk and mint leaves, then strain out the leaves. In a small bowl, beat the yolks, sugar, and cornstarch. Temper the yolks by beating in a few spoonfuls of hot milk, then transfer the yolk mixture into the pot with the hot milk. Whisk until evenly thickened--it'll clump at first but then will smooth out. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and the vanilla.
You can lighten this with some whipped cream--I eyeball the size of my pan and usually use about 1/3 c of cream, before whipping.
Arranged sliced berries on top and glaze with melted currant jelly or dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
I also like to make open-faced berry tarts with a thin lining made of lemon or lime curd cut with some whipped cream--sorry, can't offer quantities, as I eyeball it, plus it depends on how strongly lemon or lime flavored you'd like the finished tart to be.
Have you tried a stawberry sandwich?
Buy or bake your favorite light wheat bread; cut two slices
Slice fresh strawbs thin
Spread a nice layer of cream cheese or soft goat cheese on the bread
Layer the strawbs across the cheese
Add Thin slice of fresh mint
Top with a bit of honey (I only add if berries are too tart)
Close your sandwich and enjoy!
Thanks for the replies. I didn't have any glass jars and when I poked through more layers, some of them were flecked with white, so... I dipped a few in chocolate (dangerous last night with my late night cup of tea!) and then this was breakfast. (Blueberries are from Publix and the trash is already out so I can't check, but they weren't bad.)
I think I'll try the strawberries in salad-fashion as mentioned....sounds great.
re: Boccone Dolce
let us know how you like the salad!
another suggestion is a favorite dessert of mine -
1 part balsamic vinegar
1 part brown sugar
(about a cup of each for a few servings)
whisk together and reduce to 1/2 on low heat. once reduced, throw in half your sliced strawberries and cook for a few more minutes. serve warm over vanilla ice cream with the other half (uncooked) sliced strawberries.
make a compote
clean them and cut off the tops then add them to a sauce pan with some water adn sugar and cook down and mash them up.
Delicious alternative to syrup on pancakes.
Or you can make strawberry jam
I had this at a girlfriend's house and now am addicted - substitute strawberries for tomatoes in caprese salad. Make sure to use balsamic, and still use salt, and of course really good fresh mozzarella. It's awesome.
Also, I second the salad ideas; my favorite is spring mix, strawberries, toasted almonds, shredded chicken and poppy seed dressing.
I can't wait for my first fresh berries of the season!!!
Someone already posted strawberry pie in which the berries are kept raw and glazed, but I make strawberry pie by mixing the berries with sugar, flour, and a little Minute Tapioca, putting them between two crusts (I use bought to save time), and baking the pie for 45-60 minutes. Or you can cut the top crust into strips and make a lattice crust.
When I was living in Boston, I'd get huge vats of overripe strawberries for almost no money at the farmer's market, boil them down with just enough sugar to cut the acid, and store the compote in jam jars for months. It's delicious and you'll go through the strawberries in no time at all.
Put a bit of sour cream in one little bowl & a bit of brown sugar in another. Dip the berries in the cream, then in the sugar... eat as you go! Absolutely fabulous!