Strawberry season is upon us, and we're looking forward to getting out into the fields to pick-our-own. Meanwhile, these five strawberry recipes are summer on a plate.
Not just for pudding, these scarlet nuggets of sunshine can brighten up any plate from brunch to party nibbles.
Strawberry and brown sugar toasted brioche sandwiches (makes 4)
Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F. Cover a roasting tray with foil and place 8 slices of brioche on the tray. Toast till golden brown on each side. Set aside to cool. Hull and quarter 400g strawberries into a bowl, add a heaped tsp of vanilla bean paste and 100g soft brown cane sugar and mix well. Sandwich the strawberry mixture between two slices of thinly buttered brioche.
Strawberry, parma ham and parmesan crostini (makes 8)
Hull and quarter 200g strawberries and set aside. Take 8 slices of sourdough and 8 slices of parma ham. Toast the bread and arrange the ham on top. Next come the strawberries, then sprinkle with parmesan shavings. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, before topping with basil leaves and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve straight away.
Strawberry, pomegranate, fennel and radish salad (serves 4)
Hull and dice 250g strawberries. Slice two heads of fennel very thinly with a mandoline or sharp knife. Finely slice 100g spring onions and 250g radishes. Mix cut fruit and veg and 100g pomegranate seeds with a handful of roughly chopped mint. Combine 50ml olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and 1tbsp pomegranate molasses and season. Dress the salad and top with crumbled feta.
Macerated berries with honey and mint (serves 4)
Hull and halve 500g strawberries lengthways into a large bowl and set aside. In a jug, pour 250ml cloudy apple juice and 75ml runny honey and mix well. Tear a handful of fresh mint leaves into pieces and add them to the marinade. Pour over the strawberries and coat the fruit gently, so you don't bruise it. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave somewhere cool (not the fridge) for an hour. Serve in individual bowls.
Strawberry, goat's cheese and black pepper tart (serves 4)
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Roll out a pack of shortcrust pastry then cut circles big enough to fit 4 mini tartlet tins. Blind bake for 20-30 minutes. Hull and halve 400g strawberries and mix in a bowl with 1tsp cracked black pepper. Chop a spring of rosemary needles and mix with the fruit. Spoon the filling into the pastry and top with a slice of soft goat's cheese. Pop back in the oven for 10 minutes.