Packed with fiber, vitamin C and other antioxidants, strawberries are as healthy to eat as they are beautiful to behold. Early June to early July is peak strawberry season on Cape Cod. You will want to make the most of this all-too-brief bounty of deliciousness to try out some new recipes. Here are a few to get you started, each one with a tie to the local community.
Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins
At Peck O’Dirt Bakery, located at Coonamesset Farm, Annie Konner Higgins is the proud owner and mastermind behind all the savory and sweet treats, including this crowd-pleasing muffin. https://www.coonamessettfarm.com/peck-o-dirt-bakery
½ cup butter at room temperature
1¼ cups sugar
¾ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup chopped strawberries¾ cup diced rhubarb
1) Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper muffin cups in a 12-muffin pan or spray it with baking spray. Toss strawberries and rhubarb with 1 to 2 tablespoons flour and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt.
2) In a large mixing bowl, beat room temperature butter and sugar until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well.
3) Add dry mix to wet mix, alternating with milk until just combined (the secret to a good muffin is not to overmix). Fold strawberries and rhubarb into the batter. Spoon into muffin cups. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
Spinach Strawberry Salad
An avid home cook, Jeannie Dombrowski, along with her daughter, Hadley, owns Green Eyed Daisy, a clothing store on Main Street, Falmouth.
¾ cup raw pecans
½ small red onion, very thinly sliced
10 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 quart strawberries, hulled and quartered
¾ cup crumbled block-style feta cheese
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons poppy seeds
1½ tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1) Toast the pecans. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pecans in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the pecans smell fragrant. Transfer to a cutting board and roughly chop.
2) Place the sliced onions in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad (this keeps their flavor but removes the harsh onion bite).
3 ) Prepare the dressing. In a small mixing bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients—vinegar, oil, poppy seeds, honey, mustard, salt and pepper—until well combined.
4) Assemble the salad. Place the spinach in a large serving bowl. Add the strawberries. Drain the red onion and add it as well. Drizzle about half of the dressing over the salad and toss to coat the leaves. Add the feta and the pecans. Toss lightly to combine. Serve immediately.
Mile-High Strawberry Pie
Pick-Your-Own-Strawberries season at Tony Andrews Farm starts June 10 and continues daily 10am – 2 pm. This is one of several strawberry recipes available on the farm’s website at https://www.tonyandrews-farm.com/
1 pint strawberries (cut in quarters with juice)
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
½ cup heavy cream
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 baked 9- or 10-inch pie shell
1) Place berries, sugar, egg whites, lemon juice and salt in a large mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed for 15 minutes or until stiff and mixture holds shape.
2) In a separate bowl, whip cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Add to strawberry mixture. Pile lightly in shell. Freeze overnight.
DIY Strawberry Popsicles
From noon to 5 p.m. every Thursday through October 6, the Falmouth Farmers’ Market is the place to go for fresh, locally grown produce and a host of other goodies. Check out the market’s website at https://falmouthfarmersmarket.com and other tasty recipes.
¼ cup sugar
2 cups washed, sliced and hulled strawberries
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1) Put sugar in a small pan with a scant ¼ cup of water and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves and you have a simple syrup.
2) Place strawberries in a blender with lemon juice. Pulse to make a purée. Add simple syrup. Pulse again, just to mix.
3) Pour mixture into 4 small paper cups. Freeze until slushy enough to insert a popsicle stick upright in the middle of each cup. Cover with plastic wrap slit in the middle so the stick can poke through. Secure wrap around each cup with a rubber band.
4) Freeze for several more hours until rock solid. Best made in the morning for supper, or frozen overnight. The easiest way to unmold is to slit the cup with scissors and peel away from the popsicle.
Strawberry and Avocado Caprese Salad
Michelle Itzkowitz, a passionate local yoga and cooking teacher, calls this favorite recipe “a modern twist on a classic.”
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes (about 2 dry pints)
2 cups quartered strawberries (about 1 pint)
4 ounces (1 cup) small fresh mozzarella balls or sliced buffalo mozzarella
⅓ cup sliced or torn fresh basil
¼ cup good olive oil, plus a little more, if desired
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, plus a little more, if desired
Kosher salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
1) On a large plate, arrange first 5 ingredients in a circular pattern, showing off all the colors of the season.
2) In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Drizzle over the salad. (Alternatively, place first 5 ingredients in a large salad bowl, top with the dressing and mix.)
3) Season with the desired amount of kosher salt and black pepper. Serve immediately.