In Season | Strawberries

Sweeten your outlook with these delicious honey recipes from the Yankee archives.

By Amy Traverso

Jun 04 2018

Platter Of Ripe Strawberry’s.
Photo Credit : Darren Muir/Stocksy

It’s a mixed-bag wonder of modern agriculture that strawberries are now readily available year-round. Over the past 50 years, breeders have developed new varieties that bear fruit from early spring through late autumn in California, where nearly 90 percent of the country’s strawberries are grown. Add winter berries from Central and South American to the mix, and that’s a full calendar year’s worth of supply.

But while you can get strawberries in November or March, they don’t tend to be very good. The sweetest, juiciest varieties can’t tolerate long-distance shipping and a week of room-temperature display, so commodity berries are selected for stability rather than flavor. This means we have to settle for a pale, pulpy simulacrum of summer fruit … unless we’re willing to do what our forebears did and simply wait for June.

And now it’s here. At pick-your-own stands, in farmers’ markets, and in some stores, sweet, juicy berries are ripe for the taking. The most popular local varieties — ‘Darselect’, ‘Cavendish’, and ‘Earliglow’, among others — are bred for hardiness, disease resistance, yield, and size, sure, but also flavor. This is not a long season, so don’t miss your opportunity to enjoy a sun-warmed pint. And if you’re out for a hike in the mountains, look for the tiny wild strawberries growing on thin vines close to the ground, which were a staple of native diets.

Once the early-summer strawberry season has wrapped up, you may still find local berries at farmers’ markets. More and more growers are experimenting with so-called “day-neutral” varieties, which can produce well into the warm days of early fall. And because they’re picked fresh and sold close to the source, they’re much better than their West Coast cousins. So feel free to indulge your strawberry habit in September — just be sure to buy local.

Butter Lettuce Salad with Strawberries, Avocado, Walnuts & Chèvre

Sweet-tart berries are the perfect foil for rich avocado and creamy, fresh goat cheese in this gorgeous warm-weather salad.

Spinach-Strawberry Salad

This salad features fresh berries and a sweet poppy-seed dressing. (Start with a little less sugar than the recipe calls for, and taste as you go.)

Fresh Tomato-Strawberry Salsa

With their sweet-tart flavor, strawberries complement tomatoes beautifully. A little heat from the jalapenos pulls it all together.

Cold Strawberry Soup

To make with fresh strawberries: Cut up 4 parts strawberry, add 1 part sugar, and let sit until juicy. Then proceed with recipe.

Easy Pavlova Recipe with Fresh Strawberries and Whipped Cream

You can substitute other berries, kiwi, or mango, but we love this best with strawberries.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

A mix of rhubarb and fresh strawberries baked under a light crust is perfect with vanilla ice cream.

Classic Strawberry Ice Cream

Just strawberries, milk, cream, and eggs — a simple formula that lets the fresh berry flavor shine through.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Shortcake with Whipped-Cream Biscuits

Folding whipped cream into the dry ingredients gives these biscuits a tender, fluffy texture.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Muffins

Out of the oven, these beauties are golden brown and fragrant with sweet smell of summer berries and cinnamon.

Frosted Strawberry Squares

This perfect summer dessert features frozen fruity mousse sandwiched between a nutty crunchy crumble.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Tender, sweet-tart, and moist, this cake has a crunchy sugar topping that will leave you wanting more.