Let’s be real: we wait all year for summer to come around, so we’re not going to let what’s left of the season pass us by without celebrating every last minute.
Long evenings spent at the park with friends, dining al fresco in our backyards, and sipping on divine drinks as the sun sets in a cotton candy sky are joyous summer experiences we’re planning on reliving through fall (maybe with the addition of some extra layers, but that’s okay).
To keep the taste of summer alive while the crisp fall weather approaches, we’re making the following California strawberry-inspired recipes for the next outdoor gathering with our favourite people. The question is, will you be channelling your inner chef-meets-mixologist to try them, too?
Fun fact: while local strawberries are off-season right now, organic and conventionally grown strawberries from California are in peak season and available at grocery and natural product stores.
If, like us, you swoon over any Italian-sounding snack, you’ll probably fall in love with these crostinis. Striking the perfect mix of sweet and savoury with creamy burrata cheese, deliciously juicy strawberries, and a balsamic reduction, this snack recipe is sure to be a hit.
Did we mention it involves just five minutes of prep and takes only five minutes to cook?
- 10 slices baguette bread
- 1 ½ cups California strawberries hulled and sliced
- 8 oz burrata cheese
- 10 fresh basil leaves
- 1 tsp balsamic reduction
Toast your bread to the desired level of crispiness. Place a large spoonful of burrata onto each piece of toast, followed by sliced strawberries on top of the burrata. Lastly, drizzle the balsamic reduction over top and garnish with fresh basil.
Sangria is easily one of our favourite cocktails to make year-round, and this recipe is the ideal mix for the transition between summer and fall. Brimming with the summery taste of strawberries and infused with fall spices, we can’t think of a better beverage to share while exchanging best-of-summer stories with friends.
Making one pitcher of this cocktail takes 10 minutes, allowing you more time to snack and chat.
- 1 ½ cup California strawberries, sliced
- 1 cup cranberries
- 1 small apple, sliced
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- ½ grapefruit, sliced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 star anise seeds
- ¼ cup orange liqueur
- 750 ml red wine
- 1 can orange juice or plain sparkling water
First, combine all ingredients (except the sparkling water) in a pitcher or punch bowl and stir well. Next, refrigerate the mix for at least two hours. After that, top with sparkling water (or orange juice). Pour the cocktail into glasses and garnish with grapefruit slices, strawberry halves, and cranberries.
S’mores are always a good idea. And with strawberries, they’re even better. Who needs an open flame when you have a perfectly good oven at home? Get the marshmallows gooey by toasting them in the oven before sandwiching them between graham crackers, chocolate, and a layer of jammy roasted berries.
- 1 lb strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 2 or 3 tbsp honey
- ½ vanilla bean, seeds removed or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 8 large marshmallows
- 4 milk chocolate bars, halved
- 8 honey graham cracker sheets, broken in half into 8 squares
Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Using a silicone mat helps you slide the berries off into the jar when done. In a large bowl, combine strawberries, honey, and vanilla bean seeds (or vanilla extract).
Transfer the strawberry mixture to the lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, remove from oven, and allow berries to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, transfer the roasted berries to a glass jar.
Toast the marshmallows until golden and gooey. Place a piece of chocolate onto the graham cracker, top with gooey marshmallow, drizzle with roasted berries (at room temperature), and top with another graham cracker.
It goes without saying that fresh and delicious California strawberries are the perfect energy-boosting snack or addition to either sweet or savoury recipes.