Simply Strawberry

 

 

One of the first signs of summer for me is when I travel home from Dublin and see the Wexford Strawberry huts lining the eastern and south-eastern roadsides.

They’re selling the freshest of strawberries and new potatoes, both of which are synonymous with Wexford.

Strawberry and Red Wine Soup

The strawberries are a fantastic snack to have in the car, especially if travelling with children. They’re a lot healthier than sweets, they’ve no waste packaging, and all you have to do is remove the green stalks and pop them in your mouth!
 At home, we like to serve them as soon as they’re picked.

You can’t beat the flavour of freshly picked strawberries - no sugar necessary, just wipe them and eat.

Unlike many other fruits, strawberries don’t ripen once they’re picked, so when you’re shopping for strawberries, choose only the ripest.

I prefer to use the smaller to mid-sized strawberries, as they have much more flavour than their larger counterparts, and one of my absolute favourite ways to serve them is on top of a soft bed of cream layered on top of a pavlova. Why not try out my summer fruit pavlova recipe.

Another fabulous dessert recipe on the website is my strawberry mille-feuille, which is well worth a try and so easy to make, but if you prefer something a little more savoury, my savoury strawberry version is a treat. It’s simply made using Parma ham and Parmesan layers, and makes for a wonderful starter for dinner parties or special occasions. The crunchy Parmesan crisps and salty Parma ham on top of diced strawberries will have your mouth watering in anticipation!

Savoury Strawberry and Parmesan Mille-feuille

Strawberries (and really, most summer fruits) are best eaten in season. The popularity of strawberries means that nowadays, they’re available throughout the year, although in colder months, they obviously can’t withstand the lower temperatures and have to be grown in glasshouses to meet with the demand.

We have some wonderful varieties growing in the garden, and if I’m not using any strawberries immediately after picking them, I usually pop them in the fridge for a while, then always remove them about half an hour before use to allow them return to room temperature, when their flavour is at its best.

We often add strawberries to a salad, and my recipe for a strawberry and mozzarella salad is a great example of how well the sweet strawberries marry with the salad. We often serve it with roasted chicken, barbecued steaks, or just as a starter.

Strawberry and Mozzarella Salad with mint Pesto

Another favourite salad of mine using strawberries is the Wexford Strawberries Salad in a Parmesan Basket

A very impressive starter or main course accompaniment. In this recipe, you make the parmesan basket by heating some grated parmesan on a pan with a pinch of black pepper, then moulding the cheese over the base of a glass or ramekin while it’s still warm. Once it’s cooled, fill it with some lovely salad greens, goat’s cheese and strawberries, and you’ve got a really great salad.

In the restaurant here at Dunbrody, we serve the most delicious strawberry dessert called “Strawberry Fields”. It’s a wonderful crunchy cocoa crumble with fresh strawberries on top, all sitting on a layer of white chocolate mousse. When strawberries are in season, it’s the most popular dessert on the menu; truly scrumptious!

Strawberry Fields

There are so many different ways that strawberries can be used for breakfast with pancakes; added to a smoothie, or in a fruit salad; for salads, soups, and of course desserts; and not forgetting great cocktails and summer drinks. Whatever you want to do with your strawberries, there’s a great selection of recipes available on the website.

Kevin

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