The culinary charms of spring undoubtedly include a basket of strawberries, be it cultivated or freshly picked from the garden or forest. They are adored by all age groups. Their appealing shape, distinctive red colour and sweet refreshing taste take us back to childhood, but also provide an impetus to try out new recipes. Whether they are served fresh or in a dish, strawberries can be used as decorations in unlimited ways, and it’s the very simplicity of nature on a plate that will definitely entice every guest.
In botany, strawberries are classified as belonging to the rose family. Their culinary benefits are mentioned in ancient literary classics and painters have often used them as motives, especially during the Renaissance. Strawberries were used as a medicine alongside their use in cuisine, which facilitated their increasing role in everyday diet. Numerous species have been obtained through cultivation with some of them producing fruits all the way to early autumn. Wild strawberries grow to be much higher and produce a tiny fruit which is very sensitive and it’s advisable to prepare them as soon as possible, whereas the cultivated varieties are much shorter and their fruit is larger. However, it’s impossible to find cultivated strawberries possessing the sweetness and scent of their wild cousin so if you have the option of mixing them together, we’re certain that everybody will be blown away by how great your delicacies will taste.
From salads to desserts
This spring staple is so easy to prepare that even beginners will be emboldened. Although desserts are the first thing we think of when we think of strawberries, their culinary use is actually pretty diverse. Given the fact that strawberries are refreshing and contain high amounts of water, they make a great addition to warm or cold salads, especially if prepared with lettuce, baby vegetables such as chard and spinach or nuts. They’ll go great with fish, shrimp and meat. Smoked salmon, lettuce and fresh strawberries that have been washed and sliced with fresh cow cheese, olive oil and balsamic vinegar will knock you off your feet. If you’re a meat lover, you can slice grilled or barbecued chicken in this salad instead of salmon.
Strawberries make an excellent ingredient for a healthy breakfast. You can add them to a fruit salad, cereals or put them on top of a bun with cottage cheese spread.
You can also prepare them with veal or venison by oven-baking them in a marinade together with the meat or by boiling them and serving them as a side dish with meat or a stew. When used in desserts, they go great with white or milk chocolate. They also work wonders with mint, basil and vanilla. Strawberries accentuate the aroma of sparkling wines and you can also place them in glasses with wine. Not only will strawberry aperitif complement the wine’s taste, , but its decoration will also cheer up your guests.
If you’d like to try out strawberry specialties, we suggest you visit some of the restaurants in continental Croatia because, aside from offering superb local dishes, they preserve culinary tradition and serve fresh home-grown ingredients or ingredients produced by local family farms. A restaurant just like that can be found in the very heart of Moslavina. In addition to preserving old local recipes, the family-run restaurant August offers home-made wine and they’ve just added a strawberry treat to their menu. We definitely recommend you try cream custard with home-grown strawberries marinated in honey and mint.
Vinodol, one of Zagreb’s oldest restaurants, was ready to welcome spring and they did that by offering an essential dessert – cheese and strawberry crostata.
In their restaurant Johnson the Jurdana family from Mošćenička Draga prepares a strawberry cake that is without a doubt to die for.