Strawberries are in such high demand that they’re on supermarket shelves year-round, but the best time to enjoy them is actually during spring and summer: from April until August, they’re at their sweetest and most fragrant. So here are a dozen strawberry recipes to make the most of your own backyard harvest or farmers’ market haul.
Picking and Storing Strawberries
At the supermarket, look for baskets of locally-grown berries; otherwise, head to the farmer’s market and seek out firm, shiny, dark red strawberries that are free of mold and still have perky stems attached. Avoid any with a trace of mold; they’ll last for a few days, but to help prolong their shelf life, you can also give them a bath in hot (125°F) water. And try this trick for storing strawberries so they last longer:
Rubbermaid FreshWorks Produce Saver, $9.99 at Walmart
Or try one of these food storage containers specially designed to keep fruit and vegetables fresh for longer.
The sweet and floral strawberry arguably tastes best when eaten straight out of one’s hand. But if you’re lucky enough to have a glut of them, we suggest using them in these super strawberry recipes, including both fruit desserts and savory berry recipes.
Chopped strawberries macerated with sugar, orange zest, orange juice, mint, and rosemary makes for a delicious mixture that goes great with grilled apricots and angel food cake as a dessert, but would work just as well as a sweet-savory fruit salsa to pair with grilled meat or fish tacos. Get our Apricots and Herbed Strawberries with Angel Food Cake recipe.
Related Reading: Why You Should Be Grilling Fruit This Summer
Homemade strawberry jelly or jam is indescribably better than anything store-bought, and actually not that difficult to make. If you make a small batch that you can finish within 3 months (the maximum length of time we recommend storing this in the freezer), you don’t even have to go through the traditional canning process. Get our Strawberry Jam recipe.
Related Reading: 12 Ways to Preserve Summer Produce
The addition of rhubarb stalks adds a sweet-tart quality to this pie’s filling. It’s the perfect foil to a rich sour cream crust. Get our Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie With Sour Cream Crust recipe.
If the only strawberry margaritas you’ve ever tasted came out of a slushie machine, then get ready for this recipe to turn every notion you have of the fruity cocktail on its head. Get our Strawberry Margarita recipe.
Related Reading: How to Step up Your Margarita with Summer Fruit
Ripe, juicy strawberry slices make a great addition to spring salads; this one also features shaved fennel, pecorino cheese, toasted pine nuts, and shallots in a balsamic vinaigrette. Get our Shaved Fennel and Strawberry Salad recipe.
Light, airy, and delicate, our strawberry shortcake boasts all the desirable traits of a cheery spring dessert. Get our Strawberry Shortcake Layer Cake recipe. (And because this is THE dessert of spring-into-summer, see more strawberry shortcake recipes.)
Halved strawberries and creamy mascarpone make up the surprise filling in this whipped cream cake. Get our Strawberry Whipped Cream Cake recipe. (For an easier no-bake dessert that includes the same airy texture and berries-and-cream flavors, try this Strawberry Icebox Cake recipe.)
Related Reading: Mix-and-Match S’mores Bar Ideas Are Endlessly Delicious
Don’t be turned off by the tofu in this smoothie. It’s of the silken variety, and adds a custardy texture without any off-flavor. Other elements, like banana, vanilla, honey, and apple juice add a pleasant sweetness. Get our Fruity Strawberry Smoothie recipe.