Early summer is most probably the favorite season of many chefs and home cooks alike. Because it’s strawberry season. If you grow some on your own patch of land in the countryside or even on the balcony, you must be among the happiest people in the world. Strawberries carry the most recognizable sweet floral flavor that we love so much. From desserts to cocktails, here are some recipes that cover your back during this season.
Try to make classic puree in a saucepan with some sugar and lemon zest, simmering it for 5-7 minutes until juices thicken, blend in a food processor and strain through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of bigger pieces. With that preparation you can go in many directions. Try puree on a buttered toast, drizzled with some honey or golden syrup to start your day right. Or mix it with some Greek yogurt in an ice cream machine (if you’re a lucky owner of one) to make yourself a nice soft serve kind of strawberry flavoured ice cream. If you don’t possess such equipment, try semi-freeze it and then blend your mixture in a blender to obtain the right consistency.
Or try strawberry fools (a renowned British recipe). Macerate some strawberries with sugar and let them release their juices. Then simply scoop them into the appropriate glassware, pour with some strawberry puree and whipped cream or Greek yogurt again, for extra tanginess. Make several layers, finishing with whipped cream and toasted almonds or pistachios.
Want an even more refreshing recipe? Try strawberry granita. This is a gorgeous Italian frozen iced dessert that should be enjoyed during summer. Transfer a bunch of berries to a blender and add sugar, water, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Pulse several times and transfer your mixture to a dish. Then put it into a freezer and wait for 45-60 minutes until it sets. Mix crystals and let it freeze for another 45 minutes. You can repeat this 3 or 4 times, but if you are really impatient, go ahead and, working with a fork, start scraping granita loose until you get fluffy texture. Put into serving bowls and dig in.
This list could really go on and on: from alcoholic beverages to soft drinks, from pies to shortcakes, from sweet to savory. But one drink is a must-try. It’s interesting enough to give it a shot. Strawberry horchata. For that you’ll need 1 cup of rice, some cinnamon powder and 5 cups of water. Blend them together in a blender on high speed. Pour the mixture to a bowl, cover and let it sit overnight or at least for 8 hours. Then strain the mixture and discard the solids. To that mixture add 1 cup almond milk, ½ cup sugar, vanilla extract and ¾ cup strawberry puree. Adjust taste with more sugar or puree, give the mixture a good shake and serve over ice. A sweet, creamy, but dairy-free drink that everybody loves.