5 Ways to Prepare Savory Strawberries

Not too long ago, strawberries were only a late-spring and summer treat. Now available year round, you’ll find the sweetest berries are still those that hit the markets in April onward because they travel fewer miles to reach our refrigerators. Whatever route they take to our tables, strawberries are powerhouses of nutrition, chock-full of antioxidants and dietary fiber. One cup of raw strawberries contains just under 50 calories and nearly 150 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C.

You might be tempted to purchase less expensive, non-organic strawberries, but wait until they reach peak US season in the summer, when organic prices will drop a bit. Why wait? According to research, conventionally grown strawberries are one of the most heavily sprayed crops, harboring significant traces of herbicides and pesticides even when thoroughly washed.

Spongy angel food cake or sweet biscuits and cream aren’t the only worthy accompaniments to these plump berries. Strawberries’ delightful tartness pairs well with vegetables and proteins too. Bonus: The berries’ vitamin C increases bioavailability of iron in the meal.

1.  Spinach salad. Toss ½ cup sliced strawberries over a bed of spinach or baby field greens. Add sliced almonds, pepitas, and/or grated Parmesan cheese and toss with a light vinaigrette.

2.  Salsa. Add chopped strawberries to chopped fresh tomatoes, garlic, red onion, jalapeño and cilantro.

3.  Bruschetta. Mix diced strawberries with crumbled feta and Balsamic vinegar; olive oil optional. Serve over thick and crispy crackers or small toasts.

4.  Sauce. In a small saucepan, combine puréed berries with a sherry or red wine vinegar, salt and savory herbs such as rosemary, thyme or marjoram. Add agave or honey to adjust sweetness, to taste. Heat until simmering, then remove from heat and let flavors blend for 15–20 minutes. Serve over broiled fish, chicken or seitan.

5.  Grilled cheese. Slice berries and layer between slices of goat cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese. Grill in a pan or make open-faced sandwiches and toast under the broiler of your oven until cheese is melted.

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