Nothing signals the start of summer quite like strawberries do, and until the end of June, Virginia strawberries are ready to be plucked and enjoyed by the masses.
Vitamin-rich and low in calories, strawberries are perfect for snacking or blending into smoothies, and are expected in most summertime sweet treats. The fruit’s distinct flavor profile translates to savory entrees too.
For a sweet and satisfying meal, try one—or more—of these recipes to satisfy an early taste of summer.
Strawberry Spinach Salad
1 pound spinach, torn
1 pint strawberries, diced
½ onion, diced
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon yellow mustard
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
¼ cup white distilled vinegar
¼ cup chopped pecans (optional)
In a large bowl, mix the spinach and strawberries.
In a separate bowl, combine onion, sugar, paprika, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, oil and vinegar. Whisk until sugar is dissolved.
Drizzle the dressing lightly over the salad, and toss to coat. Sprinkle pecans on top.
Source: Virginia Cooperative Extension
Chicken Fajitas with Strawberry-Jalapeno Salsa
1½ cup strawberries, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, chopped
½ red onion, diced
¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 lime, juiced
kosher salt and pepper, to taste
4 flour tortillas
To make the salsa, in a small bowl mix strawberries, jalapeno, onion, cilantro and salt and pepper. Allow the salsa to chill for a minimum of 1 hour.
In a large bowl, combine chicken, oil, cumin, lime juice, kosher salt and pepper, mixing well to coat the chicken. Allow the chicken to marinate for 30 minutes.
Heat a non-stick skillet to medium, and cook the chicken breast for 5-6 minutes on the first side. Flip, and heat until the chicken is fully cooked. Allow the chicken to cool.
Slice cooled chicken into strips, place them in the tortillas and top with salsa. If desired, garnish with optional ingredients such as avocado or goat cheese.
Source: Florida Strawberry Growers Association
Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Squares
1 cup crunchy wheat and barley cereal
3 cups fat-free strawberry yogurt
2½ cups frozen unsweetened strawberries
1 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 cup light or fat-free whipped topping (optional)
Line an 8”x 8” baking pan with foil. Sprinkle cereal evenly on the bottom of the pan; set aside.
Place yogurt, strawberries and condensed milk in a blender; cover and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture over top of the cereal, gently smoothing the yogurt mixture to edges of pan. Cover with foil (or plastic wrap) and freeze for 8 hours or until firm. Use the edges of the foil to loosen the mixture, and remove it from the pan; let it thaw for 5-10 minutes. Cut into squares, top with whipped topping, if desired, and serve.
Storage tip: Squares may be individually wrapped and frozen for single servings.
Note: Create your own variations by using other combinations of yogurt and fruit.
Source: National Dairy Council