A quick stroll through the farmer’s market will tell you that it’s finally strawberry season. This annual event is a right of passage for many, a tell-tale sign of warmer days ahead, that summer is on its way. But strawberry season comes and goes very quickly, leaving berry fans in a panic. How does one get enough of these sweet berries when they’re available and enjoy them for as long as possible?
The biggest problem with strawberries is that they are picked when perfectly sweet and ripe. Surely, if you’ve gone strawberry picking, you know that you can eat the berries right from the bush, they’re juicy and delicious when eaten this way. Many are tempted to bring lots of ready-to-eat berries home from the farmer’s market, only to find that they turn inedible too soon.
Strawberry recipes are numerous and varied, although mostly sweet in flavor. There are strawberry jellies, jams and preserves; strawberry ice creams and other frozen desserts; strawberry muffins, cakes and pies; even strawberry syrups and shrubs to make into cocktails. But it’s not often that you encounter a more savory recipe using sweet springtime strawberries. Until now.
Earlier this week, I picked-up my first two baskets of farm-grown strawberries from One Straw Farm, the picturesque CSA that my family belongs to every year. My daughter and I brought home the berries and immediately ate several while standing over the sink, letting the juices run down our arms. When we were finished, I still had a lot of berries to use…and I knew that they wouldn’t last long in the refrigerator. I decided that I would make a strawberry salsa to go alongside some tacos and I started thinking about flavor combinations. I knew that I wanted to keep the recipe easy, to let the flavor of the strawberries shine through.
The result is this Simple Strawberry Salsa. It’s not fancy and it doesn’t take much time to prepare. The ingredient list is simple, the colors are bold and the taste is bright. A bit of acid from lime juice is all that’s needed to counter the sweetness of the berries. Make this salsa while fresh local strawberries are in-season. It’s the perfect snack with plantain strips or served alongside veggie tacos.
Simple Strawberry Salsa
Ingredients: (use organic whenever possible)
2 C diced strawberries
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 T freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 t sea salt
1/4 C fresh mint, thinly sliced
optional garnishes: additional mint, chopped cilantro, lime zest
Gently wash strawberries, remove stems and leaves. Dice into 1/2” pieces and put into a glass mixing bowl. Add the sliced scallions and gently toss.
Pour the lime juice over the berry mixture and sprinkle with sea salt. Stir gently. Add the mint and stir again. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt – if desired.
Place salsa in a covered container and chill for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to combine. When ready to serve, allow salsa to come to room temperature. Garnish with additional mint, chopped cilantro and lime zest (optional but delicious).
Recipe yields 3-4 generous servings
Can easily double recipe – use 1/4 sea salt and season to taste (do not double salt)
For added spice, add 1/2 finely chopped jalapeño pepper to the salsa
Salsa keeps for 1-2 days chilled in a covered container