When it comes to complementing strawberries, sweets may come to mind such as sugar, whipped cream and ice cream. While these sweet treats are popular additions to strawberries, it can get a little redundant. The next time you bring home a batch of strawberries, try adding some spice instead of, or in addition to other sweeter ingredients. Some spices complement the taste of strawberries very well, striking a balance between sweet and spicy flavors.
For a mild bit of spice, sprinkle 1 tbsp. of freshly ground black pepper over sliced strawberries sweetened with 3 tbsp. of sugar. Toss with 2 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 minutes. You can also add a tablespoon or two of black pepper to the filling when making a strawberry pie or tart.
Curry, combined with other ingredients, is a striking, flavorful addition to strawberries. Place cut strawberries in a bowl and stir in 1 cup of coconut cream. Add 2 tbsp. of honey or maple syrup, then sprinkle with 1 tbsp. of curry powder. The curry can be mild or very spicy.
Mix a teaspoon of cinnamon into strawberry smoothies or in strawberry lemonade for a slightly sweet spiced taste. You can also add cinnamon to melted chocolate for cinnamon chocolate-covered strawberries. Cinnamon and sugar also go well with strawberries that have been sauteed in a pan. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream. Add a tablespoon or two of cinnamon to baked strawberry desserts such as tarts or muffins.
Dried herbs such as basil and mint are often paired with strawberries, particularly in salad or in strawberry dressing or sauce. To make a simple strawberry basil salad, combine 1/4 cup fresh basil with 2 cups of sliced strawberries and 8 cups of lettuce. Top with a balsamic and olive oil dressing. Top meats with a strawberry, honey and mint sauce by combining 1/2 cup of honey, 1/4 cup mint leaves, 2 tbsp. lemon juice and 2 cups of chopped strawberries in a blender. Try sprinkling other dried herbs such as rosemary and oregano over sauteed strawberries as well.
References and ResourcesEpicurious; Roasted Strawberries with Black Pepper; Michael Ann Jordan, April 1999
Eating Well; Strawberry-Black Pepper Tart for Two; June 2006
CBS News; New American Cuisine; Rome Neal; July 2003
Green Lite Bies: Cinnamon Spiced Strawberry Chocolate Smoothie
My Recipes: Low-Fat Strawberry-Cinnamon Muffins
My Recipes: Strawberry-Basil Salad with Balsamic Viniagrette
ResourcesMarianne's Motifs; Spiced Strawberry Lemonade; April 2011
A Food Coma: Strawberry salad with Spicy Glazed Walnuts
How Sweet it is: Strawberry Mango Basil Salsa