With the Wimbledon Tennis Championships just weeks away, it’s time to look into one of England’s favourite summer treats. Strawberries are at their ripest and juiciest around this time of year, and there are plenty of ways to get a good selection – check out the overflowing punnets in the greengrocers’ windows, or head out to your local pick-your-own farm and enjoy them straight from the field. These are just a couple of our favourite recipes – what’s yours?
STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM
Strawberries and cream make an absolutely perfect combination, especially for picnics and quick, easy snacks in summer. Simply toss your desired amount of strawberries in caster sugar until lightly coated, then add a cream of your choice – thick double cream is good, but freshly whipped cream will really complement the sweetness of the fruit.
A fun alternative to this is a twist on the traditional ice cream soda. Pour yourself a glass of cream soda, then add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and top with finely-chopped strawberries – or replace the vanilla with strawberry ice cream for a really fruity, refreshing drink!
As fancy as the origins of the Eton Mess are, the dish itself is again incredibly easy to prepare – but it never fails to make an impact. Simply add strawberries, whipped cream and crushed meringues to a large mixing bowl, then carefully mix together so that you have a fluffy, messy combination of fruit, cream and meringue chunks. You can make as many additions to this as you like; we recommend a splash of ginger cordial, but you could also try using a mixture of fruits, a couple of scoops of soft ice-cream, or even add a dash of port with the strawberries.
Eton mess can also be adapted into a truly spectacular dessert for dinner parties in the summer months, with almost no effort to put in yourself. Simply make your mix as before, but put it into the freezer and let it freeze completely. Tip it out onto a serving plate when your guests are ready for pudding, and you’ll have an ice-cold creamy, fruity sweet to finish off the evening!
Looking for something different to put in the picnic basket? Try this beautiful strawberry salad from Saheela Bamjee, pairing the sweetness of strawberries with peppery rocket and creamy feta cheese.
There are all sorts of things you could add to a strawberry salad – mango is a great option for more sweetness, while pine nuts will add a “toasted” flavour that complements the juiciness of the fruit beautifully. We also recommend avocado, which offers the same creamy texture that strawberry cuts through so well – perfect for an afternoon meal in the sun!