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Strawberries For Spring 

May/19/2024 / by Jordana Weiss

From salads to desserts, you’ll love these dishes

A dish of salad with greens, strawberries, cheese, and walnuts on a light grey background
Photo via Shutterstock

Spring brings on the start of strawberry season in the United States. While they’re available in many parts of the U.S. in grocery stores year-round, the true strawberries of spring and early summer bear little resemblance to their winter-raised cousins. Instead of being red on the outside and white within, the ripest strawberries are beautifully red throughout and so sweet and tasty it’s nearly unbelievable. Depending on where you’re located, you may even be able to find tiny wild strawberries, which are even sweeter and have an almost floral taste.

This beloved berry has long been a dessert staple, but we’re here to tell you today that strawberries can go far beyond sweets. Here are some of our favorite strawberry recipes that you can use to take advantage of the bounty of this season.

Strawberry and Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

In this tasty salad, the sweetness of the strawberries plays off the fresh savory notes from the spinach. Of course, you can use any greens you like – a baby spinach and spring mix makes this salad lighter, while arugula gives it a spicy, peppery note. Toss your greens with sliced strawberries, toasted nuts like pecans or almonds, and feta cheese. Then, a homemade dressing made with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, and poppy seeds brings it all together.

Strawberry Chutney 

This sweet and spicy strawberry chutney takes everything you love about traditional chutneys—the zing of spices and the earthy base of garlic, onion, and ginger—and adds the bright warmth of spring strawberries. This great recipe advises that it be served with lamb or chicken, but it would work equally well paired with a soft cheese.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

We love strawberry lemonade, but it tastes even better when it’s spiced with fresh herbs. This recipe advises the inclusion of basil, but we think it would taste equally great with herbs like mint, thyme, or even lavender. Simply blend strawberries with fresh basil leaves and lemon juice, then strain and mix with cold water and a sweetener of your choice for a flavorful twist on traditional lemonade.

Strawberry and Ricotta Crostini

This recipe plays the sweetness of strawberries off the simple richness of great ricotta cheese. All you have to do is spread ricotta cheese on toasted baguette slices, then top with sliced strawberries, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of cracked black pepper for a sweet and savory appetizer.

Strawberry Salsa 

You may think strawberries can’t be savory, but this salsa recipe proves otherwise. Mix finely diced strawberries with more traditional salsa ingredients like red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice. Salt and black pepper bring it all together, then it’s ready to enjoy on chips, toasted bread slices, or any other convenient salsa delivery vehicle.

Strawberry Caprese Salad

For an early spring version of this classic summer salad, you can replace tomatoes with sliced strawberries in a twist on a traditional Caprese salad. Layer with fresh mozzarella, basil or mint leaves and a splash of balsamic reduction for a filling yet light spring salad.

Strawberry Lassi 

No summer is complete without a cold, refreshing lassi. While it may not get to the roasting hot temperatures we associate with late summer during early spring strawberry season, we advise freezing a few pounds of berries earlier in the year specifically so you can make this recipe. Plus, it’s super easy to throw together. All you need is strawberries, yogurt, milk, sugar or honey, and a pinch of cardamom or spoonful of rosewater for taste.

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