Now’s the time to get in on the pleasure of eating glorious red, ripe, sweet strawberries with every meal. 

Swirl strawberries into breakfast smoothies, toss them into lunchtime salads, or cook them down to make a sauce to cut through the richness of a grilled steak dinner. Incorporate their flavor and gorgeous color into cocktails or showcase these beloved berries — (wait, are they even berries?) — in a cheese and fruit pairing.

Strawberries lend their acidity, and sweet and sour notes to salty, sharp cheeses, such as aged Parmesan, and are a perfect sidekick to creamy clotted cream

In short, strawberries are superb fruits that shine for their versatility, beauty, and deliciousness — and health benefits, too. One cup of medium strawberries (about eight berries) comprises your daily requirement of vitamin C and contains 3 grams of fiber.

And here’s a tip for hulling strawberries (aka removing the leafy green tops) that preserves more fruit than slicing them with a paring knife: Insert a drinking straw through the bottom of the berry and gently drive it through to the top. This will cause the green to pop right off!

Here are eight easy strawberry recipes to maximize the beauty and sweetness of this quintessential springtime fruit. 

Mango Strawberry Smoothie

Start your day off with this colorful two-tone smoothie, which uses the season’s best mangoes and strawberries for sweet fruit flavor and offers a protein-rich boost from Greek yogurt. Swap the mango for fresh pineapple — it’ll pair beautifully with the coconut water base — or double up on the strawberries.

Strawberry recipes with two mango strawberry smoothies.

Strawberry puree for cocktails 

Add chopped fresh strawberries to a bowl with sliced jalapeño and granulated sugar and let them macerate for one hour; the sugar will draw out their natural juices. Blend the mixture into a deep-pink, versatile puree with a mild kick of heat that you can mix with your favorite clear spirits, such as vodka or gin. Or make a strawberry margarita.

Two strawberry cocktails on a marble counter.

Strawberry Crepes

Crepes are a welcome departure from pancakes and waffles in that they are lighter, they can be filled with various fruit or savory fillings, and you can prepare the batter in a blender for easy clean-up. You can also try them for dinner. We love filling crepes with fresh strawberries and cream that includes tangy sour cream to enhance the strawberries’ sweetness.

Strawberry recipes with a plate of crepes topped with strawberry.

Strawberry and Grain Salad

Toss hearty grains, such as quinoa and farro, with snappy, fresh green beans, maple nut clusters, and strawberries for a toothsome, hearty salad with crunch, bright color, and just the right amount of sweetness. Or try this spinach and HoneyBell salad: The gentle acid of the citrus and sweet strawberries are divine with fresh spinach that wilts under the warmth of a warm bacon vinaigrette.

Strawberry recipes with a salad full of strawberries and nut clusters.

Strawberry Balsamic Steak Sauce

Create a tangy-sweet strawberry balsamic sauce to accompany grilled strip steak. The sauce adds complex flavor and acid to cut through the beef’s richness.

To make: Combine 2 pounds of plump, firm berries with 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the strawberries break down, yielding a thick sauce, about six minutes. Spoon over sliced steak. Or skip the main course altogether and spoon the sauce over ice cream!

Plate of New York Strip steak drizzled with strawberry balsamic.

Chicken Tacos with Strawberry Salsa

Toss freshly chopped strawberries with red onion, jalapeño, honey, and fresh cilantro to make a quick fruit salsa for dipping chips or topping tacos. If chicken kebabs are more your speed, choose giant strawberries (they measure 2 inches across), and skewer them with chicken and vegetables, such as yellow and green zucchini squash.

Strawberry recipes with a plate of chicken tacos.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries 

Melt a combination of Harry & David Signature Chocolate Truffles using the gentle heat of the double boiler method. Alternatively, you can create your chocolate sauce by combining 1 cup of chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and melting the mixture in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between. Dip the strawberries in the chocolate, then refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes, then eat. Elevate drinks by using chocolate-covered strawberries as a garnish for drinks, too.

Rows of chocolate-covered strawberries on a marble counter.

Strawberry Shortcake

Adding lemon curd to this whipped cream lends a bright acidity that makes the simplicity of classic strawberry shortcake extraordinary. Allowing the strawberries to macerate with sugar and a pinch of salt to heighten their sweetness ensures you’ll draw out the sweet juices to soften the crumbly biscuit and mingle with the cream. Absolutely divine!

Strawberry shortcake on a plate.

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Theresa Gambacorta is a freelance food writer, a veteran of New York City restaurants, and cookbook co-author to chef Joey Campanaro's Big Love Cooking (Chronicle) and James Beard-nominated chef Nasim Alikhani's Sofreh: A Contemporary Approach to Classic Persian Cuisine (Knopf). She is currently working on a forthcoming vegan cookbook to be published by Simon Element.

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