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Walnut Creek Magazine

WHAT’S IN SEASON: STRAWBERRIES

Almost everyone loves strawberries. Not only are they juicy and delicious, but a bona fide superfood too. Packed with antioxidants like vitamin C, the benefits of eating strawberries are endless from boosting your immune system to keeping wrinkles at bay. The possibilities in recipes are equally as boundless, besides shortcakes and smoothies, eat them sliced in a salad or on a blissful bruschetta at brunch. Here are some ways to sweeten up Mother’s Day with an unexpected twist.

GRILLED FRENCH TOAST WITH STRAWBERRIES & ROSEMARY
By Realtor Teresa Zocchi
 
Ingredients:
Vegetable oil, for brushing cast iron grill pan
1-quart strawberries, quartered
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1 orange, plus 2 tsp orange zest
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Kosher salt
Six 1-inch slices Challah or Brioche bread
Powdered sugar for dusting
Directions: Preheat cast iron pan to medium and brush with oil. Place cut strawberries on a large piece of foil. Top with balsamic, orange juice, zest, and rosemary. Fold up edges of the foil to form a sealed packet and place in a 350-degree oven. Bake until strawberries are warm and soft, 5-10 minutes. In a shallow baking dish, combine eggs, cream, honey, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Whisk until combined. Heat oil in the pan. Dip both sides of the bread in mixture and transfer to pan. Cook until the first side is golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Gentle flip and cook other side is golden too. Remove from pan and transfer to a platter. Spoon strawberries on top and dust with powdered sugar.
STRAWBERRY AND SPRING MIX SALAD
By Chef Debbie Shavar, Buttercup Diner
 Ingredients:
8 ounces of spring greens mix or arugula
2 cups strawberries, quartered
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts or hazelnuts
Directions: Place spring greens, strawberries, avocado, and toasted nuts in a large salad bowl. Toss with the desired amount of dressing. Serves 6-8 as a side dish.
Dressing:
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (or balsamic)
2 minced garlic cloves
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Directions: Place sugar, vinegar, garlic cloves, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
Gradually whisk in vegetable oil. Store in the refrigerator for one hour to allow the flavors to meld together before dressing salad.
  
STRAWBERRY AND GOAT CHEESE BRUSCHETTA
By Whole Foods Market
Ingredients: 
12 slices baguette, lightly toasted
4 ounces Humboldt Fog or other fresh goat cheese
1 cup diced strawberries
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sliced fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Directions: Spread the baguette slices with goat cheese and top with strawberries, pressing to help the strawberry pieces adhere. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with basil and a generous amount of black pepper.

GRILLED SALMON WITH STRAWBERRY GINGER SALSA
From readersdigest.ca
Ingredients:
1 ½ cups strawberries, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced
½ teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, chopped
4 salmon filets (approx. 8oz each)
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
Serves 4
Directions: Mix strawberries, onion, lime juice, ginger, and honey in a small bowl. Set aside for flavors to combine. Brush salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on barbecue over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes per side. (Alternatively, sauté in a large saucepan for 2 to 3 minutes per side.) Transfer to a serving platter. Add basil and cilantro to strawberry mixture. Spoon salsa over salmon. Yum, enjoy!
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