Strawberries Image courtesy of New York Natives, photographer Hannah Howard
By Hannah Howard


SCOOP DU JOUR is a weekly column by food enthusiast  Hannah Howard about eating, cooking, and exploring her way through New York. From a visit with the City’s greatest grocer to discovering the “umami” of love, Fridays are packed with the unique flavor only Hannah can coax out of a culinary experience.

In case you didn’t notice, strawberry season is now! After a long, hard winter, the berries are especially sweet and plentiful this year, as if to reward us for our survival. The green market is a red market, awash with just-picked, sweeter-than-candy goodness. It’s for just a flash — soon high summer will fade to fall, and we’ll be reduced to grocery store berries, or worse, forced to go berry-less.

These strawberries are so ethereal, otherworldly, and perfect, that it feels almost sacrilegious to do anything besides eat them slowly (in giant quantities). But if, like me, you feel it necessary to bring home a ridiculous abundance of strawberries, you might make good use of them in some of these simple dishes:

 

Strawberry Gazpacho

Serves: 4 – 6

Ingredients:

1 pound tomatoes, rinsed and quartered
1 pound strawberries, rinsed and stemmed
1 teaspoon good balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and pepper

Blend the tomatoes with the strawberries in a food processor or blender. Add the vinegar. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Check seasoning. Serve chilled. A really elegant appetizer!

 

Strawberry Avocado Salsa

Makes: about a cup

Ingredients:

1 cup strawberries, chopped
1/2 avocado, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Pinch of salt and sugar, to taste
Jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (if you like heat)

Mix everything together in a bowl — done! Serve over chicken or fish, or dip away with tortilla chips.

 

Strawberry Pimm’s Cups

Makes: 2 drinks

Ingredients:
1/2 cup diced strawberries
2 tablespoons mint leaves
1/4 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup Pimm’s
1 bottle ginger beer

Set aside two tall glasses with ice. Mash the strawberries and mint leaves with a muddler or the handle of a spoon. Add the lime juice, honey, and Pimm’s. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake for about 15 seconds. Strain into glasses and top with ginger beer. Garnish with slices of strawberry, mint, or tarragon sprigs, and/or lime wedges.

 

Strawberry Crumble

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar
1 & 1/2 cups, + 2 tablespoons + 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 quarts strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter + more for baking dish
1 cup rolled oats

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and strawberries in a buttered 9×13 baking dish. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl, mix until crumbly. Scatter atop strawberry mixture. Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

 


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