Last week, the California Strawberry Commission hosted in an event in San Francisco highlighting strawberries and featuring Cheryl Sternman Rule, author of the new book, Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables. Ms. Sternman Rule is a Silicon-Valley based food writer who writes the amazing blog, 5 Second Rule. I am always inspired by her writing and her photography alike. If this blog is not on your radar screen, it should be. Add it to your list. Stat.
The California Strawberry commission generously shared some amazing recipes with me which I am excited to share with you, like this Strawberry Caprese Salad. What a great combination to mix the sweetness of strawberries with the tanginess of a balsamic reduction and the creaminess of Mozzarella. If it seems strange at first, don’t forget, tomatoes are fruit too!
I feel so lucky to live in California in the heart of Strawberry country. Did you know that California produces 88% of all of the strawberries in the US? We benefit from a year-round growing season. In Southern California, there is harvesting of strawberries in April, May and June as well as October, November and December. Northern California sees its peak growing season in late spring and early summer, but also continues to harvest into November.
To keep strawberries fresh once harvested, they are rushed to a cooling facility where the heat from the fields is drawn out quickly and then they are kept at 32˚F until they reach the market.
For more great strawberry recipes and recipes for everything else in your CSA box or in your bag from the Farmer’s Market, don’t forget to order:
- 2 pounds fresh California strawberries, stemmed and halved
- 2 cups bite-sized fresh mozzarella balls (bocconcini), drained, halved
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade, finely diced
- 3-4 mint leaves, chiffonade, finely diced
- Salt, pepper to taste
- To make balsamic syrup, in nonreactive pot, simmer vinegar over low heat until reduced to one-half its original volume (1/4 cup).
- In serving bowl, toss strawberries and mozzarella balls with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add basil and mint; toss again.
- Drizzle balsamic syrup over and around salad. Grind more pepper on top.