Kitchen Wit & Wisdom: It’s time for strawberries

Cathi Litzenberger shares recipes for one of summer's favourite fruits in a salad and in a frozen dessert

It’s a sunny Monday in Calgary as I write this column, and I know there are bowls of strawberries to be picked in my garden right now. Fresh home-grown strawberries can’t be beat by that variety coming from California so I would encourage you to take a quick trip to the farmers’ market tomorrow and pick up some fresh strawberries for the recipes below.

Spring Strawberry Spinach Salad

1 bunch spinach, rinsed

10 large strawberries, sliced

1/2 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup white wine vinegar

1 cup vegetable oil

6 large strawberries

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In blender, place sugar, salt, vinegar and oil, and 6 strawberries:  blend until smooth. Stir in poppy seeds. Pour over spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat.

Strawberry Semifreddo Shortcake

1 (3-oz.) package soft ladyfingers

2 pt. strawberry ice cream, softened

1 pt. strawberry sorbet, softened

1 pt. fresh strawberries, hulled

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1/2 (7-oz.) jar marshmallow crème

1 cup heavy cream

Arrange ladyfingers around sides and on bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. (Reserve any remaining ladyfingers for another use.) Spread strawberry ice cream over ladyfingers, and freeze 30 minutes. Spread softened strawberry sorbet over ice cream. Freeze 30 minutes.

Process strawberries and powdered sugar in food processor 1 minute or until puréed. Reserve 1/4 cup mixture.

Whisk remaining strawberry mixture into marshmallow crème until well blended.

Beat cream at high speed with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold into marshmallow mixture. Pour over sorbet in pan. Drizzle reserved strawberry mixture over top, and gently swirl with a paring knife.

Freeze 4 hours or until firm. Let cake stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.

Cathi Litzenberger is The Morning Star’s longtime food columnist.