This week, the St. Paul Farmers Market is a great big strawberry patch.
Grower's stalls are laden with beautiful strawberries, big as a farmers thumb or tiny as your pinky nail. Get them now while they’re syrupy sweet, just right for folding into whipped cream, tossing on ice cream, or baking into a pie (and yes, partnering rhubarb is still available, but winding down). Sweet as they are, strawberries add a tart note to salads and pair nicely with salty cheese.
Here, we’ve tossed them into a simple spinach salad, but you could use just about any mix of spring lettuce. Loaded with vitamin C they make a sensible partner to darker leaves, helping the body access the iron in those greens. Strawberries freeze beautifully and are easy to stew into sauce, brew into jam, or steep in vinegar; all are simple ways to keep the lovely spring sunshine around.
Strawberry-Mint Frango with Strawberry-Yogurt Cream
- 4 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced if necessary
- 1/4 cup chopped mint
- 2 tables sugar or more to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup yogurt
In a large bowl, crush 3 pints of the strawberries (reserving 1 pint) and toss with the mint and sugar to taste, set aside. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the yogurt. Fold the crushed strawberries into the yogurt cream then spoon this alternately with the reserved strawberries into six serving goblets or into a pretty cut-glass bowl.
Spinach Salad with Strawberry Basil Vinaigrette
- 1 bunch baby red onions (find them all over the market, they're gorgeous), trimmed, bulbs thinly sliced
- 6 ounces fresh spinach, washed and spun dry
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup toasted almonds
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup crushed strawberries
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- Pinch of sugar or honey to taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh basil for garnish
In a large bowl, toss together the salad ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, shallot, and mustard, then whisk in the oil in a slow steady stream. Whisk in the crushed berries and basil, then add the sugar to taste. Toss the salad with enough vinaigrette to coat the leaves. Garnish with chopped fresh basil.