By Laurie Beth Gills
Ripe, red strawberries shine bright throughout spring and early summer tempting us to further explore our love for this delicious fruit. Perhaps you’d like to try your hand, or green thumb, at planting and watching them grow, or take the time to visit a local strawberry farm where you can pick at your own leisure. Maybe it’s enough to simply enjoy experimenting with both sweet and savory strawberry dishes.
April sends me into a strawberry frenzy. How I adore these spring beauties! They truly are a symbol for all things spring. Even if you’re not a fruit lover, or an everyday fruit nosher, it’s hard to pass them up. So I wonder, is it the look, the smell, or the feel and taste of strawberries that drive us all a tiny bit insane? My guess? A bit of each.
With numerous, literally hundreds of strawberry varieties to choose from, I personally prefer to focus on the alpine strawberry. Although small in size, their flavor not only lingers on your palate, but forever in your mind. It is sometimes described as ‘strawberry meets vanilla’. Mignonette, the ultra sweet and wild berry of France, is the tastiest red alpine variety in my opinion. The taste is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. They’re also easy to grow from seed.
Now here we are, face to face with yet another strawberry season – which, by the way, I’ve been dreaming about since February. For months now I’ve imagined a slew of tastes, creating recipes in my head, and concocting unique flavor pairings with these springtime jewels. So when the perfect opportunity presented itself, I immediately stepped into the kitchen. I attempted to create a recipe that would shine as brightly as the fruit itself. Here’s my interpretation of a spring strawberry dish I would proudly serve at any special occasion. A dish, which I guarantee, your guests will love and remember. Be prepared for recipe requests.
Make time this spring to check out your local berry farms and markets where you’re most likely to find a multitude of varieties and an abundance of free tastings.