Sweet Picks

Strawberries ooze with irresistible sweetness. Vivid red jewels, they are perfectly delicious eaten whole and unadorned, sliced and dusted with sugar or topped with whipped cream. Their bright flavors are also welcome in a variety of dishes.

Fresh For You Year-round

To keep fresh strawberries available year-round, Hy-Vee stocks trusted brands that deliver red fruit that is plump and juicy. One of the top companies, Driscoll’s, has its strawberries grown on family farms throughout the world. Locations are carefully chosen for soil, climate and other environmental factors that promote sweetness. In business since 1904, Driscoll’s has long been in the forefront of developing new strawberry varieties with sweet, ripe flavors.

From salsa to shortcake

Strawberries are good for more than desserts. Toss them into your favorite salad for fabulous color, texture and a touch of refreshing sweetness. Add berries to a mixture of greens, moist cooked chicken, tangy vinaigrette and blue cheese. Or create harmony by serving sliced berries on flatbread with peppery arugula leaves, tangy goat cheese and crunchy pistachios.

Some of the best salsas are made with strawberries. Dice a few berries and toss them into a mixture of chopped avocado, red onion and jalapen~o pepper. Squeeze in some fresh lime juice and you’re done. The clean, fresh flavors meld nicely, making this a perfect topper for slices of roast chicken or grilled pork tenderloin.

When you’re going the sweet route, sugar the berries ever so slightly to bring out their juices. Cut them up, toss with sugar (using 1 tablespoon per pint) and let stand for 30 minutes. Spoon them onto ice cream or shortcake, and enjoy.

surprise pairings

If you feel this is a good day to experiment with unexpected taste combinations, try pairing strawberries with balsamic vinegar. A honey and balsamic reduction used in the Berry-Brie Bruschetta, on page 22, brings out the berries’ floral notes and makes these sweet/tart appetizers perfect for most gatherings.

Rhubarb is commonly paired with strawberries in pies and crisps. The two go well together because the sweetness of the berries plays off the tart rhubarb. It’s a winning combo in the Strawberry-Rhubarb Gooey Bars, on page 19. Or serve the berry sauce over Greek yogurt.

Nut butters—almond, cashew and hazelnut—are popular for spreading on crackers or bread. Try them on strawberries because it’s a match made in heaven! The rich, hearty flavors of the butters add more depth to the taste of sweet, juicy berries.

chocolate lovers rejoice!

Chocolate is a classic pairing partner, transforming strawberries into a gourmet treat. Add an even greater dimension to chocolate-dipped berries by serving them with a nice wine that brings out their sweetness.

Choose a wine that is at least as sweet or sweeter than the chocolate coating on the strawberries to avoid a bitter or sour taste. Pair mild chocolate-dipped berries—ones using white or milk chocolate—with light-bodied wines, such as Riesling, or dessert wines, sparkling wines, champagnes or ports. Full-bodied wines such as buttery chardonnay or red cabernet sauvignon enhance and complement dark or bittersweet chocolate-dipped strawberries.

Strawberry season is never-ending with fresh, sweet fruit shipped to Hy-Vee from around the world.

Berry Basics

Pick the best
Purchase strawberries that are bright red, fragrant and plump with no soft spots. Berries should have fresh-looking green caps attached.

Keep them fresh
If using strawberries soon after purchase, leave them on a counter for just a few hours covered by a light kitchen towel or paper towel. For longer keeping, line a storage container with a dry towel, put in single layer of strawberries, attach container lid and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Do not rinse or hull until ready to use.

Just before using, gently wash the berries in cool water; spread out onto a clean kitchen towel to dry. Cut out the green cap with the tip of a small paring knife and serve whole or sliced.

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