Over the coming articles, I will try to convince you that the strawberry has just as strong a place in the savoury, as it does in the sweet dessert…. Interested?
The sun in shining, we’ve had some rain, in the fields those wonderful strawberry plants are bursting with flowers, receding to reveal the delicately formed green fruits. Rows upon rows, 1000’s of plants, each one nurturing an abundant selection of those delicicious gems. A little more water, and a generous share of sunshine see these wonderful plants of delicate green fruits, form generous beautifully formed strawberries. Bursting with flavour, juicy with a slightly crisp texture. Firm, but will melt in the mouth. It’s this anticipation, this expectation and familiarity with this incredible fruit, that makes many look forward to this time of year.
It is also right about now that my children start asking : “When is the strawberry house coming again.” A wooden hut positioned like many in our area at the end of many roads and street corners, erected for a short time in May-July selling locally grown freshly picked strawberries (almost) at// your door. An annual tradition, supporting local farmers and local people, pickers are out early each morning picking the ripest and best of the crop, and delivered to each of these huts ready to buy….
Theres something wonderful standing in front of these wooden houses, seeing row upon row of strawberries packed neatly into recycleable cartons, and packed when desired, in the same way I remember seeing it done as a child -in newspaper. Some traditions are hard to change, but this one just is pure enjoyment. Perhaps it's a reason then why so many strawberries are eaten. There is an attraction, hard to resist. We pass by this 6 or more times each day travelling to and from school, work, and other daily activities. It’s a bustling hive of community spirit. The temptation is significant.
A trip to the fields sees vast areas with swathes of strawberry plants ladened with these plump red fruits, ready for the picking.
Last year we dabbled with “pick-your-own.” Theres something enriching about collecting a basket, and walking the rows upon rows of plants, searching for that perfect crop that tickles your fancy. The mere idea of a field or fields of strawberries can sound like heaven. The mere hint that this may exist, and that you can eat whatever you like, have mere mortals mouths salivating, and for others, a dream come true. Having had this life enriching experience, I can say that its not so easy to stand surrounded by these strikingly red fruits, and select or discard. They all just need to go in the basket…… Fortunately, my children and I can only carry so many, so the rest of the field will have to wait for another time.
But what may you say should we do with them? If you hold to the belief that strawberries and cream and sweet desserts are the only way for you, then ok, I get that. Who wouldn’t turn down a French strawberry tartlet,……but you may be missing out….
All those raise your hands if you’ve tried strawberries and cream….
But how many can say they’ve had strawberries with balsamico?
One of the best kept secrets, is how well strawberries work in savoury foods just as well as in sweet.
Over the coming articles, I will try to convince you that the strawberry has just as strong a place in the savoury, as it does in the sweet desert…. Interested?
Deliciousness.... With so many foods flown in from around the world, it can be difficult to know when the true strawberry season begins. In my experience, buying strawberries out of season can mean strawberries, tasteless and of watery texture. Strawberries should be sweet & juicy but retain a crisp outer texture. The aromatic flavour and smell is really important for quality.
For the highest quality locally grown strawberries:
The Strawberry season starts in May ending around July-August each year.
Our 1st recipe is really simple to make, and perfect for a fresh Spring / Summery evening, or inspired dinner party. – it is quick to prepare, with little effort, looks amazing.
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