It's the sure signal of summer's arrival: Strawberries are piling up at local farmers' markets. Here, 7 recipes—from sweet to savory—starring the red gems.
By Julia Rutland
1 of 8Photo: Christopher Baker
The Berry Best
Sure, strawberry fans don't have to wait until summer to enjoy their favorite fruit: Commercial strawberries, grown in temperate areas from California to Florida, ripen year-round. These large berries have a texture firm enough to safely transport over long distances.
But if you crave fresh, local strawberries, get ready: They peak from mid-June into July, depending on your climate. Local berries tend to be small, but are sweeter and more tender. You'll find them at farmers' markets, co-ops, and organic grocery stores.
2 of 8Photo: Christopher Baker
Strawberry-Chocolate Truffle Tart
Although this tart is a snap to prepare, give it at least two hours to cool to give chocolate a nice, firm consistency.
Tip: If dipping berries in chocolate, thoroughly dry them. Any residual moisture will keep the chocolate from sticking.
Pepper-crusted Pork Tenderloin with Strawberry-Balsamic Sauce
Although perfect over grilled pork, turn Strawberry-Balsamic Sauce into a staple by serving it over main dish salads and other grilled meats.
Tip: Select plump, bright-red berries with vibrant, green caps. Once picked, strawberries don't ripen in the carton, so pale ones may be tart and overly firm. Look at the bottom of the container, and skip any that are seeping or mushy.
Use homemade strawberry jam from this summer's crop for the most decadent tasting bars.
Tip: To freeze strawberries, slice off the caps and place in a single layer on baking sheets. Once frozen, place berries in a plastic storage bag, removing as much air as possible, and store for three to five months.