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Strawberries 101

Keller + Keller Photography

The arrival of fresh strawberries signals the start of summer. 

Now is the time to visit pick-your-own farms and farmers’ markets to stock up on plump, ripe berries.

There is nothing better than just snacking on a bowl of juicy strawberries, but these yummy berries also make a delicious addition to recipes both sweet and savory.

I asked my friend Cynthia Graubart to share some cooking tips with us.

Cynthia is a James Beard Foundation Award-winning cookbook author and cooking teacher.  She just authored her 11th and 12th cookbooks - the two books are entitled “Blueberry Love” and “Strawberry Love.”

From breakfast treats like French Toast with Strawberry Syrup to salads like Strawberry, Burrata, and Arugula Salad, main courses like Hamburger Sliders with Goat Cheese, Strawberries and Bacon, and desserts like Strawberry Creamsicles on a Stick and Strawberry Heart Hand Pies, Cynthia shows strawberry lovers tantalizing new ways—along with the classics—to make the most of their summer berry bounty.

Here are her top three tips for Strawberries:

Tip 1: When purchasing fresh strawberries, choose berries that are firm, plump, fully red, and free from moisture. Organic berries, where available, are pesticide-free and are a healthier choice.

Tip 2: Strawberries should be stored unwashed and refrigerated, and only washed immediately before use. Fresh berries keep refrigerated just a few days, so use them up quickly or freeze.

Tip 3: To freeze fresh strawberries, slice off the top, place the berries cut- side down on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet, and freeze. When frozen solid, move to freezer bags.

To order a copy of her cookbook, visit cynthiagraubart.com or amazon.com.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Bon Appetit!

Strawberry Bread with Pecans

Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf

  • 2 1?2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3?4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1?2 teaspoon salt
  • 1?3 cup butter, cut into 1?2-inch cubes
  • 3?4 cup chopped pecans or other chopped nuts
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2  cups fresh strawberries, hulled and diced

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray or grease and flour a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl until thoroughly combined, at least 30 seconds. Scatter the butter cubes over the flour mixture and rub the butter into the flour using your fingers, or cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender, two knives, or two forks, until the mixture becomes fine crumbs. Toss 1?2 cup of the nuts into the flour mixture. Make a well in the center of the flour.

Whisk the eggs lightly in a medium bowl, and whisk in the milk and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the well in the flour mixture and stir gently but thoroughly, scraping the bottom of the bowl, until the mixture is just combined. Avoid overmixing. Gently fold the strawberries into the batter.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and top with the remaining 1?4 cup nuts. Bake the bread for about 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (avoiding a strawberry).

Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edges of the pan to loosen the bread and turn it out onto a wire rack. Slice and serve warm. Refrigerate any leftovers and reheat in a microwave, or toast and slather with butter.

Reprinted from “Strawberry Love” from Storey Publishing ©2021 by Cynthia Graubart

Jennifer Chandler graduated at the top of her class from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She is a full-time mom to two daughters in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks The Southern Pantry Cookbook, Simply Salads, Simply Suppers, and Simply Grilling.