Sneak one from the carton, take a bite, and imagine them topping pillow-soft Cornmeal Shortcakes, tossed in a delicate salad paired with cheese and fresh basil, or dipped in a salty-sweet caramel mixture. That’s what our Test Kitchen Professionals did last April while strawberries were at their prime―sweet, luscious, and juicy. Our commitment to testing in season makes it a sure thing you’ll get the same flavor-perfect results this year.
Associate Food Editor Mary Allen Perry raved about the blend of flavors and the prettiness of the sliced berries in our Strawberry-Turkey-Brie Panini. “It’s a fresh, warm-weather spin on a Monte Cristo sandwich,” she said. Find it: We use a Krups FDE3 Panini Maker in our Test Kitchen.
A ripe berry will have a shiny, deep red color from the tip of the berry to beneath the green cap. It will be sweeter and juicier than those with white or green beneath the cap. Check the carton from top to bottom for any damaged or moldy fruit. They’ll cause the others to deteriorate quickly.
Strawberry Storing Tip:
Sort when you get home. Remove and discard any bruised berries you didn’t see when purchasing. Don’t wash. Return berries to the carton or place in a colander, uncovered. You want air to circulate around the fruit. Flavor starts to fade after two days of refrigeration.
Before you slice, cut in half, puree, or chop strawberries for a recipe you should “hull.” This term means removing the leaves and tiny core beneath the cap of the berry.
A paring knife will do it, but be careful not to remove too much fruit. To use a tweezer-like strawberry huller (available at kitchen shops), pinch the berry right beneath the cap and twist.
More Strawberry Recipes:
Blend buttermilk with your choice of fresh or frozen strawberries to create this creamy springtime treat. This simple recipe only takes 15 minutes to prep before going into the ice cream maker.
- Recipe: Strawberry-Buttermilk Sherbet
Club soda, fresh whole strawberries, and frozen daiquiri mix set these margarita spritzers apart. Serve on sultry summer days and enjoy the fizzy sweetness of these colorful cocktails.
Recipe: Strawberry Margarita Spritzers
For a light and quick poolside drink, Cava Sangria is the way to go. Refreshing and fruity, this 5-ingredient sangria has the perfect combination of flavors from the strawberries and mint leaves. After the first sip, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation.
- Recipe: Cava Sangria