So you have a half flat of strawberries…now what?
So you have a half flat of strawberries…now what?
We’re so excited about the coupon this week (June 2-8) and bet you are, too! With a purchase of $30 or more (plus your coupon) we’re giving you an entire half-flat of locally grown strawberries!
This is the best time of year for strawberries and the crop from George Chiala Farms in Morgan Hill is practically perfect in every way. We’ve worked with the Chiala family for many years to bring in the best strawberries. They pick, pack and deliver the same day so you know they’ll be fresh and sweet. These berries are not pre-cooled so they have s softer texture, which I think adds to the natural, farm-fresh flavor. It is also best to enjoy these berries within a couple days of purchase because they are not pre-cooled.
George Chiala Farms grows organic and conventional berries, and has carried over many of the organic practices to their conventional crops. For example, they use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to control and eliminate different pests (e.g. lady bugs and lace wings to keep aphids away), they rotate crops too, which helps maintain the fertile soil. They also use the same amounts of compost in both practices. The Chialas continuously strive to study and incorporate new sound practices to cultivate the best-quality produce.
Tim Chiala, the director of fresh market sales for George Chiala Farms, said that despite the rain this year, the warm days and cool nights have helped make for a good crop.
“When it isn’t raining, yield and quality are high,” said Tim. “We’re about three weeks behind on other crops due to weather, but it’s made for a little longer strawberry season and we hope to for another good three weeks of harvest.”
Here are a few recipe suggestions for strawberries. There are others in our recipe archives, too!
Fresh Berry-Yogurt Crunch Parfait
Whether it’s for breakfast, a mid-morning snack, a tea-time treat or a midnight meal, yogurt hits the spot. A parfait made with creamy yogurt, local, fresh berries and well blended granola presents a healthy snack that looks like a delectable dessert!
- 6 oz. container of yogurt (any flavor is great!)
- ¾ cup Granola (find it in our bulk section)
- ¾ cup fresh, sliced strawberries
Directions: In a parfait glass or a bowl, spoon in half the yogurt and lightly smooth the surface. Secondly, spread half of granola evenly on top of the yogurt. Lastly, add half of the sliced strawberries. Repeat these steps to add three more layers.
Cook’s note: You can also add in or substitute different flavors and fruits, such as raspberries or bananas, depending on your mood and what’s in season.
Strawberries over Gelato — Sicilian Style!
A good balsamic is already sweet due to the aging process, and our infused balsamics, such as the vanilla bean balsamic, are the perfect combination of sweet & tangy.
- 2 cups strawberries
- 1 ½ tbsp. Sigona’s Fresh Press Vanilla Bean balsamic
- A generous scoop (or two!) of Massimo’s vanilla bean gelato
Directions: Scoop the gelato into two dessert bowls. Slice the strawberries and divide evenly between the two bowls. Just before serving, drizzle them with our outstanding 12-year, barrel-aged vanilla balsamic.
Sliced strawberries drizzled with balsamic is the typical Italian way of serving this dish.
Party Berry Bowl
This is an easy and healthy mixed berry dish that is guaranteed a hit at any gathering. Berries are naturally low on the glycemic index.
- 3 baskets of strawberries
- 1 basket each of raspberries, blueberries and olallieberries (or you can substitute blackberries)
- ½ fresh cut pineapple, cut into chunks
- ½ Tbl. Honey or pure 100% Organic Agave Nectar
- 1 white gerbera daisy, for decoration (optional)
Directions: At least one hour before party time, rinse the strawberries, remove the stems and slice them into halves. Mix the strawberries in a large bowl with the remaining berries, pineapple and agave nectar. Let it sit for 1 hour, bringing the mix to room temperature. Be sure to gently toss the mixture 2-3 times an hour. Letting the mixture sit with the agave nectar brings out more of the berries’ natural sugars.
To garnish to the dish, cut off the stem of the gerbera daisy, leaving only the blossom, and place it on atop the berry mix. The white of the daisy is a beautiful contrast to the delicious, vibrant colors of the berries.
Cook’s note: Choose berries with large seeds and those that are almost bleeding, meaning the berries are leaking juice. Bleeding berries indicate they were picked ripe, are super sweet and are ready to eat. Also, the juice from each berry will mix well with one another while it comes to room temperature, creating a uniform mixed berry flavor.
Strawberry, Shrimp and Feta Salad
The California Strawberry Commission website is loaded with strawberry recipes. We like this one because feta is a perfect compliment for strawberries. Makes 4 servings.
For the salad:
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 3/4 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp**
- 2 cups (about 10 ounces) fresh California strawberries, stemmed and quartered
- 8 cups mixed salad greens, such as butter lettuce and watercress
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 1 small cucumber, sliced (about 24 slices)
For the vinaigrette:
- 3 tablespoons Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Sigona’s traditional balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Directions: To make salad: In small bowl, toss onion with 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette; set aside.
Over gas or charcoal grill or in grill pan on stove top, grill shrimp 5 minutes, turning once, or until pink and cooked through.
In another small bowl, toss strawberries with 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette. In large bowl, toss greens and onion with enough of the remaining vinaigrette to coat lightly. Divide among 4 chilled salad plates and arrange strawberries and shrimp on top of greens. Sprinkle with cheese and garnish with slices of cucumber, equally divided.
To make vinaigrette: In small bowl, whisk together ingredients for vinaigrette.
**Cook’s note: For a variation, substitute shredded smoked chicken for the shrimp. Pre-cooked, shelled shrimp may be substituted for grilled shrimp.
This is a sweet & salty salsa with a little kick. Serve over grilled chicken, salmon or white fish such as mahi mahi, serve it as a dip with tortilla chips.
- 1 cup diced fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup diced mango
- 1/4 cup diced papaya
- 1/4 cup chopped Anaheim pepper, seeds removed
- 1-1/2 cups chopped sweet red pepper, seeds removed
- 1/4 cups diced pineapple
- 2 TBL diced red onion
- 2 TBL freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 TBL chopped cilantro
- 1 1/2 tsp. rice vinegar
- ½-1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Salt and black pepper
Directions: Prepare all the ingredients as noted above. In a medium bowl, gently stir together all prepared ingredients. Season with salt & pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours to let the flavors meld. Add more red pepper flakes and/or salt & pepper to taste, if necessary.