Image via 101 Cookbooks
Have you noticed that strawberries are everywhere? Cheap, plentiful and delicious--even beautiful, wholesome organics.* Good news for berry fans (which we are--we're living off the stuff right now)... of course, bad news for the farmers who are losing the profits they normally count on this time of year, due to a glut of berries flooding the market.
We can't help the farmers with recent bad weather luck, but we certainly can buy and gobble up their "problem."
So, the stores are chock-a-block with berries, stacked up and begging to come home with us. When faced with a "bogo" special at the market, I instinctively grab 'em. As many as I can get home. But, how to use them all up before they get mushy--and, worse, fuzzy?
First, it's important to store them right: take them out of the clamshell or berry basket, and spread them on a paper-towel lined plate, so they can't touch. They're like little kids in the car on a long journey: "she's touching me!" They hate that. If you're going to gobble them up very soon, leave them out of the fridge, as they seem to lose some flavor in the chill. Otherwise, pop another paper towel on top and put the plate in the fridge.
Now, recipes. I've been bookmarking them, so as to address the multiple pounds of berries we're buying per week. Mostly we eat them straight, but sometimes a bit of class is called for. We all probably know how to whip up a tart or assemble a shrotcake-y treat... but here are a couple of my current favorites that are a little unusual:
Interesting Strawberry Recipes
Fava Beans and Strawberry Salad with Pecorino, from Chris Cosentino, at nearby Incanto
Strawberry Ceviche. Yeah, with actual fish. Mmmm, ceviche.
Strawberry Panzanella, from 101 Cookbooks (pictured above). This is a really special, interesting recipe for perfect berries.
Strawberry Clafouti. This looks easy, stylish... good for a dinner party perhaps?
Dark Chocolate and Strawberry Tartlet, from the ravishing Tartine Gourmande. For if you're feeling ambitious... or just want to impress someone :)
What interesting ways do you like to eat strawberries? Need more ideas!
*My advice: buy only organic strawberries. They're one of those "dirty dozen" foods which you really must avoid conventionally: they're loaded with spray residue. No bueno. Hey, why not download a dirty/clean dozen wallet guide or iPhone app?