In 2011, the California Strawberry Commission published “Strawberry Recipes for Everyday” cookbook showcasing the versatility of this amazing fruit called the strawberry. One serving of eight strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange and is packed with beneficial antioxidants and nutrients including potassium, folate, and fiber. Strawberries are not only for dessert. They can be used in salads, sauces, and more. There are 6 sections – Breakfast, Appetizers & Snacks, Sweets, Main Courses, Salads, and Beverages.
In the Breakfast section, I tried the Soufflé Omelet with Balsamic Strawberries. This soufflé omelet tasted more like a dessert. The eggs formed a soufflé like texture (fluffy) and flavor. This recipe also uses a mix of strawberries and balsamic vinegar. Use a fine, aged balsamic like Taste It!’s Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar. It is thick, sweet, and wonderful with fruit or drizzled on ice cream. The mix of fine, aged balsamic vinegar and fresh quartered California strawberries is a phenomenal combination. The prep time is a little longer than making a simple omelet, but well worth the effort. Thumbs up, way up!
In the Appetizers & Snacks section, I tried the Strawberry Tostada. The colors are fantastically vibrant and flavors of a summer day. It is light and refreshing. In order to save some cooking time, you can buy pre-made tostadas instead of making your own in the oven with corn tortillas. I found a great, flavorful brand at Sprouts Farmers Market store (This store chain can be found in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah). The corn tortillas were vibrant yellow with a wonderful rich corn flavor. I also substitute the crumbled queso freso with crumbled feta cheese. It worked out perfectly. The combination of jicama, avocados (Avocados from Mexico are in season now!) , and strawberries is amazing. It actually tastes like a summer day – sweet, sun-kissed strawberries, creamy, soft avocados, and crunchy, slightly sweet jicama. The hint of cilantro adds the Mexican flair. This recipe is a keeper! Thumbs up, way up!
In the Salads section, I tried the Strawberry, Shrimp, & Feta Salad. I varied the recipe slightly by sautéing the shrimp as the first step. I personally like my shrimp cold on a salad, as putting the shrimp on when hot will wilt your salad greens. I also used red leaf lettuce and iceberg to have a nice contrast of colors (and they were on sale). The vinaigrette was a little too subtle so I would definitely increase the balsamic vinegar and salt. All in all, the mix of flavors was good, but could be better.
In the Main Courses section, I tried the Salmon Tataki with Strawberry Miso. This is a very easy recipe to make, but would change a few things. Make sure that you sear the salmon, either in the morning or night before, so it cools off and is cold for the cutting process. Treat it like you are making sushi, the colder the fish, the easier to cut when you’re ready to serve. The Strawberry Miso is a little too sweet for me so I would definitely cut down on the sugar as the recipe also includes mirin (sweet Asian sauce, almost like a more viscous corn syrup) and strawberry puree. The salmon is the perfect fish to use, but ahi tuna would also work with this recipe as well. Combination of flavors works well together and makes you feel like you’re in a Japanese restaurant. Thumbs up!
In the Sweets section, I tried the Strawberry Trifle. This dessert is the perfect sweet! The only time consuming part is making the custard. Watch it carefully while on the stovetop. It comes out perfect so it is worth your patience. This recipe uses frozen, sliced strawberries. You can either buy them or slice/freeze them yourself. The frozen strawberries turn into a chunky jam, which works perfectly on the angel food cake. Buy the store brand angel food cake in the bakery section. It will save you a lot of time and the store brands are always consistent in flavor and texture. One less worry and save you time! The combination of sweet strawberries, creamy custard & whipped cream, soft, fluffy angel cake, and crunchy almonds is wonderful. The sweet sherry is a great add – adult decadence! Thumbs up, way up!
In the Beverages section, I tried to the Strawberry Lassi. If you have ever been to an Indian restaurant, you’ll most likely see Mango Lassi on the menu. It’s a cross between a smoothie and milkshake. It is usually pretty thick and exploding with mango flavor. In this case, the Strawberry Lassi is made exactly the same, but with a strong strawberry flavor. I found it more refreshing than mango. It might be the slightly sour in flavor from the strawberries and the cardamom and ginger give it that East Indian flavor and aroma. Thumbs up, way up!
Being in California, we are definitely lucky. We have strawberries year round! Take advantage and sweeten up your meals today.
For more information:
California Strawberry Commission
Order your own cookbook copy
Royalties from book sales go to the California Strawberry Scholarship Program that has already awarded students of California strawberry harvest workers more than $1 million for college education.