Valley Bounty: Strawberries
Strawberries lead the parade of sweet and juicy summer fruit. And they’re here! Don’t skimp on the strawberry desserts—or the local whipped cream on top—but remember that strawberries can star in salads, too. Fresh spinach salad tossed with sliced strawberries, goat cheese, and maple nuts and topped with a balsamic dressing is an easy crowd pleaser. For a variation with a little bite, substitute arugula and blue cheese.
Check out our list of pick-your-own strawberry farms. Call ahead for picking conditions and hours.
Here’s our list of farms that grow or sell local strawberries.
Strawberries are easy to freeze. Hull them and spread out on a tray 1-2 layers deep. Freeze, then bag, and they’ll be loose, making it easy to add a handful to your smoothie. If your freezer space is limited and you’re willing to use a full bag at a time, they’ll take up much less space if you halve them, then add a little sweetener, then bag.
There are lots of ways to make strawberry jam. Here’s a low-sugar strawberry-rhubarb jam from Greenfield-based Pomona Pectin, a freezer jam option, and a classic slow-cook strawberry jam (you can reduce the sugar in this recipe, if you want. I use 1 quart berries: 1 cup sugar: 1 tbs. lemon juice).