Cooking Mom Amy Hanten says strawberries are ripe for the picking now that summer is finally underway, and she presents several recipes that utilize all the juicy berry has to offer.
For more of her recipes, visit http://www.thecookingmom.com
STRAWBERRY FIELDS SALAD
1/3 cup olive or canola oil
4 tablespoons strawberry or raspberry balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and pepper
5 to 8 ounces fresh spinach
2 to 3 cups sliced strawberries
1/3 cups sliced toasted almonds
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
In a jar with a tight-fitting lid add vinegar, honey, oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Put on lid and shake well until the dressing starts to thicken a bit. To serve, put the spinach in a large bowl. Toss with enough of the vinaigrette to coat the spinach. Sprinkle with strawberries, cheese, and almonds. Extra dressing keeps in the fridge for a week.
STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE TRIFLE
2 boxes (3.4 ounces each) instant cheesecake pudding
3 cups cold milk
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 large (16 ounces) pound cake, cut into 1-inch cubes
6 cups sliced fresh sliced strawberries, saving a few whole berries for garnish
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
Sprig of fresh mint (optional)
Graham Cracker Crust Topping (optional)
1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter
Toss together sliced strawberries with a few tablespoons of sugar and let sit for at least a half hour.
If making the optional graham cracker crust topping, combine graham crackers, sugar and butter in small bowl. Spread on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 5 to 8 minutes or until toasted. Let cool and when cool, crumble a bit.
In a large bowl beat together milk and pudding mixes until it starts to thicken. Fold in the lemon zest and half of the whipped topping. In a trifle bowl or pretty clear glass bowl, layer a third of the cake cubes, a third of the strawberries, and a third of the pudding mixture. Repeat layers twice ending with the pudding mixture. Cover and refrigerate.
Right before serving, spoon a "cloud" of the remaining whipped topping on top. Sprinkle graham cracker crust topping over the top and decorate the top with a few fresh whole or sliced strawberries and a mint sprig.
You can also make mini individual desserts by layering the ingredients in clean canning jars, clear glasses, parfait dishes, martini or wine glasses.