Sweet, succulent berries are one of the pleasures of summer. In New England, blueberries are probably the most popular summer berry but my personal favorite is strawberries. Strawberries have been in the market for months now but with white tops and no sweet smell, it is easy to see that they have been shipped in from across the country. I’ve been patiently waiting for some local, just picked deep red berries…their sweet aroma making them irresistible.
We all know that strawberries are great in desserts such as strawberry shortcake, ice cream and pies but their sweet juicy flavors are also perfect in savory dishes. I made two savory recipes using strawberries as part of our evening meal…both quick and easy. The first is a fresh strawberry salsa but if you have family or friends who don’t care for peppers and cilantro, you can serve them the other dish, a green salad with balsamic marinated strawberries and candied pecans. They both go very with chicken, pork or even a mild fish like the pan sautéed sole that I served them with. If you happen to find strawberries like the beauties we discovered at a farm stand, please do try one of the recipes I’m sharing with you.
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and finely diced
- half of a small sweet onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and finely diced
- a handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- juice of 1/2 lime
- salt and pepper to taste
Add all the ingredients to a bowl and toss gently. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. If the salsa isn’t spicy enough, add a few shakes of your favorite hot sauce, I like Tabasco Jalapeño. Serve as a side with chicken, pork, fish or with a big bowl of crispy chips.
Marinated Balsamic Strawberry Salad With Candied Pecans
Serves 2 to 4
- 1 pint sliced hulled strawberries
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 2 – 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 3 – 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 c. of salad greens
- a large handful of candied pecans
Add the first three ingredients to a bowl and gently toss. Let stand at room temperature until there is lots of juice, at least an hour. The berries can be used “as is” to top ice cream or pound cake. If making a salad, strain the juice into a small bowl, drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Taste the vinaigrette and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Drizzle the vinaigrette, as much as needed for the amount of greens you use and top with the marinated strawberries and candied nuts. If you want to serve the salad as a main course, you might want to add some crumbled goat cheese for a more substantial dish.
Both of these accompaniments were so simple to prepare that I almost hesitated sharing them with you but the sweet and savory flavors of the summer berries were too good not to let you know how much I enjoyed them. If you are lucky enough to come across really ripe strawberries, I believe you will enjoy these quick and easy recipes.
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all your kind words concerning my broken foot, which happened eight weeks ago. I can’t tell you how very much they have meant to me. I’m slowly returning to a somewhat normal routine and making a presence back in our kitchen. Even though my bones are just now starting to show signs of new bone growth, I no longer need crutches and have traded the big air cast in for a smaller shoe cast.I am now happy to say that I can share grocery shopping duties with my husband, using an electric riding grocery cart when needed. I have quite a way to go but life is a lot easier but very hectic. We have a closing on our home in New Hampshire scheduled in two weeks and are very busy with packing up our household. I appreciate your patience concerning my blog. I’ve read your comments but unfortunately have not had the time to answer all of them or visit all my blogging friends. Life will get back to normal soon, I promise.