Posted On: 05/01/2012
Melted into jams. Chopped into sundaes. Sliced into salads. Marinated in sweet liqueur. These days, strawberries’ resume goes far beyond the pie plate.
1. Salad In a large salad bowl, combine 2 cups thinly sliced strawberries, half of a thinly sliced cantaloupe, 2 thinly sliced avocados, 4 cups baby arugula and 6 ounces feta cheese. Set aside. In a small mixing bowl, combine ¼ cup honey, 2 tablespoons aged sherry vinegar, 2 tablespoons freshly chopped mint, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and a pinch kosher salt. Whisk to combine and then drizzle over the salad. Toss to coat and serve.
2. Strawberry-jalapeño jam Place 1½ cups crushed strawberries, ¾ cup finely chopped jalapeños (stems and seeds removed), 1½ cups sugar, juice and zest of 1 lemon, and 2 tablespoons liquid fruit pectin in a non-corrosive pot and bring to a boil. After 2 minutes of boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Store in a sanitized glass jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
3. Marinated To make this adults-only dessert, pour ½ cup Grand Marnier over 3 cups sliced strawberries in a shallow casserole dish. Refrigerate for 5 hours. Remove strawberries, reserving marinade, and divide strawberries evenly among 4 dessert bowls. In a cocktail shaker, combine ¾ cup heavy whipping cream and reserved marinade. Shake hard and pour atop strawberries.
4. Shortcake in a jar Whip ½ cup sugar and 8 ounces heavy whipping cream until stiff and set aside. In each of 6 half-pint glass jars, crumble a store-bought mini shortcake, and gently press to the shape of the jar so it takes up the bottom third of the jar. Top with a hefty dollop of fresh whipped cream and evenly spread atop the cake. Each jar should be roughly 2/3 full. Fill remaining third of each jar with chopped strawberries.
5. Sweet and salty sundae Place 2 heaping scoops vanilla ice cream in a small bowl. Sprinkle 3 coarsely chopped strawberries on top. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon chocolate sauce and ¼ teaspoon thick, syrupy, high-quality balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle atop 1 tablespoon shelled, salted pistachios.
6. Pop tarts If making your own jam, place 1 pound coarsely chopped strawberries in a non-corrosive pot with 6 ounces sugar. Toss to coat and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to overnight. Remove from the refrigerator and toss with 6 more ounces sugar until absorbed. Set over medium heat and bring to a boil slowly. Cook until thick and gel-like, stirring frequently to avoid scorching, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a sterilized glass jar and cool completely before capping. Meanwhile, on a lightly floured surface, roll out prepared pie dough into a roughly 9-by-12-inch rectangle of 1/8-inch thickness. (If using homemade dough, make sure it’s been refrigerated for at least 2 hours.) Using a knife or pastry wheel, cut out 12 equal rectangles. Whisk 1 egg and 1 tablespoon cold water together in a small bowl. Place half the rectangles on a prepared baking sheet. Place 1 heaping teaspoon strawberry jam in center of each rectangle. Brush the edges with egg wash. Carefully place a second rectangle on top of each rectangle, pressing firmly to seal. Use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges and to poke a few holes atop each pop tart. Sprinkle with sugar and bake in 375-degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before serving.
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