There is something sacred about a fresh local strawberry. I wait all year for spring and then gorge myself on these fabulous treats. Although strawberries are now available year-round, just one bite of a ripe local berry will have you swearing off all other imposters forever.
Farmers markets are always the best place to find the first and freshest berries of the season. Enjoy local strawberries as they come into their peak and then buy bulk a few weeks later when the sugars are most developed. There are so many fabulous ways to preserve these beauties that there is no reason not to eat local year-round. Strawberry syrup, strawberry jam, pickled strawberries, strawberry vinegar, poached strawberries…you get the idea.
Individually quick freezing (IQF) is the easiest method for preserving. Simply cut the green stem off the top of the berries, arrange them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and place the sheet level in the freezer. Once frozen, shake the berries into a freezer-friendly container and start on the next batch. These IQF berries can be enjoyed frozen in a smoothie or thawed when you finally find your grandmother’s preserve recipe. If you are like me, you’ll spread those luscious red preserves on a hot buttered biscuit in the fall and start dreaming of next April’s berry gorge.
Inspirational Strawberry Recipes
Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, Cocoa-Dusted Hazelnuts and Herb Feta
Seared Scallops with Coconut Rice and Strawberry Tamarind Glaze
Strawberry Filled Cake with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream
Strawberry Lemonade Paletas