Special of the day: Spotlight on Strawberries

15 May Special of the day: Spotlight on Strawberries

Strawberry-Pistachio-Brie Tart

Nothing says spring into summer like a pint of fresh, ripe ruby-red strawberries after a winter plagued with woody whitish-pink berries plucked out of season.  Though available almost year-round these days, peak season for strawberries is April through June.

Just before heading into my office to polish this week’s column, I asked our ten-year-old daughter Madison what she thought about strawberries. Without missing a beat, she said, “Strawberries are sometimes delicious.” So true, I thought, and asked her when they were the most delicious, to which she replied, “When they are dipped in chocolate.” I couldn’t agree more.

The time is right to pick up some strawberries at the market and enjoy them any way you like: floating in a glass of Prosecco, sliced into a bowl with a splash of cream, in a Strawberry-Pistachio-Brie Tart, over a Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette, pureed in a Super Simple Strawberry Sorbet or as Madison recommends, dipped in chocolate!

Delight in the arrival of ripe delicious strawberries with this week’s Special of the day: Spotlight on Strawberries with Recipes for Strawberry-Pistachio-Brie Tart,  Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette and Super Simple Strawberry Sorbet. Enjoy!

Recipe and food photography by Sydne George.

Strawberry-Pistachio-Brie Tart

Strawberry-Pistachio-Brie Tart

(serves 6-8)

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

2 tbsp. butter, melted

2 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced

¼ cup pistachios, chopped

½ pound brie, sliced into thin slices

½ tsp. sea salt


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Roll out thawed puff pastry to  a 14 inch square.

Transfer to lightly greased baking sheet.

Fold all four edges inward to make a frame about 2 inches wide. Pat edges down to secure.

Brush pastry with melted butter.

Arrange a row of strawberry slices atop the pastry on the left edge of the tart  next to the frame. Sprinkle a thin line of chopped pistachios to the immediate right of the row of strawberries. Finally, arrange a row of brie slices to the immediate right of the pistachio line. Repeat to cover tart shell.

Sprinkle sea salt over the top of the assembled tart.

Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until pastry is lightly golden and flaky.

Remove from oven. Let cool briefly and slice into squares. Enjoy!

Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

(serves four)

Marinate the chicken:

¾ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup honey

In small mixing bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar and honey until smooth.


2  boneless skinless chicken breasts to gallon-sized sealable plastic baggie.

Pour marinade over the chicken breasts and seal the plastic baggie.

Let chicken marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more.

Remove from refrigerator and let chicken return to room temperature.

Preheat barbecue to 350 degrees.

Remove chicken breasts from marinade and transfer to hot grill.

Cook chicken breasts for 6-7 minutes and then turn. Cook for an additional 6-7 minutes, until cooked through.

Remove grilled chicken from the grill and let rest while assembling the salad.

Assemble the salad:

4 cups baby spinach leaves

½ cup blue cheese crumbles

2 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced

¼ cup green onion, sliced

Arrange baby spinach leaves on four salad plates.

Slice grilled chicken into thin strips and arrange on top of spinach.

Top with blue cheese crumbles, strawberry slices and green onion slices.

Make the dressing:

6 large ripe strawberries

1 tbsp. white wine vinegar

1 tbsp. honey

1 tbsp. canola oil

Combine dressing ingredients in blender. Puree until smooth. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Drizzle dressing over assembled salads. Enjoy!


Super Simple Strawberry Sorbet

Super Simple Strawberry Sorbet

(serves eight to ten)

12-ounce can frozen lemonade, thawed

3 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed

1 tsp. almond extract

Add all sorbet ingredients to blender and puree until smooth.

Pour into a 9 x 12 inch baking dish or glass pie plate.

Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight or until firm.

Scoop into dessert dishes, garnish with fresh mint sprigs and enjoy!

Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.

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