Red Macerated Basil Strawberries

I love June because the first major wave of fresh local food starts to pop up! Some of the farmer’s markets start up in May, but the real abundance picks up in June.

Chicagoland happens to be smack in the middle of strawberry season.

Will you look at this momma and baby strawberry? Beautiful.

Our spring was cold, so the strawberry crops delayed for two weeks. So if you’re in the upper Midwest and near a place to pick these berries, consider yourself officially notified: go pick ‘em! Time is running out!

We also happen to be riding the wave of fresh, local herbs!

Some of the farmers are selling huge bundles of herbs for a buck. If you can’t tell, I’m a little excited about this. I love sweet basil – and it’s everywhere!

So, since we’re talking about scale – and by extension, quantity – let’s play with the quantity. What would it look like to increase the quantity of herbs?

When I think of macerated strawberries, I never think about herbs… but basil seems like a good combination. It works with red, fleshy tomatoes, right? Strawberries are red and fleshy, and I read once, “If it grows together, then it tastes good together!” So, let’s up the quantity of herbs, and see what happens…!

I started by washing the strawberries and removing the green tops.

Look how juicy, red and AMAZING these strawberries are. (I want to eat these NOW. This post is taking a lot of self-control.)

Siamese twins! Even the strawberries like themselves.

Once the tops have all been removed, I flipped the strawberry onto the flat part (where the green top used to live) for stability. Then, I sliced each one into 1/8 inch slices.

Okay, I ate a few of the ends…

Can you blame me, really?

Mark picked a handful of basil leaves from our plant.
I sliced the basil leaves into smaller strip-like pieces.

Next I moved the berries into a mixing bowl, and I added the zest and juice a lemon.

Two teaspoons of sugar…

The sliced basil…

And then I gave it a stir.

Within minutes, the strawberries start releasing their juices, creating a syrupy delight. The blend of the sweet strawberries with the fresh basil and the vibrant lemon is irresistible.

Red Macerated Basil Strawberries are delicious atop vanilla ice cream, with shortbread, with virtually any breakfast food (i.e. pancakes, waffles, crepes). Personally, I love to eat them as is – give me a fork, and I’m set!

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  • Anonymous

    Do you have a stand at Green City Market?

  • Art & Table

    @johnnnytk:disqus   –  I’m an artist, not a farmer.  It would be fun to be a farmer though. If I was a farmer, I would have a stand… I love the Green City Market.  (It’s huge!) Do you buy your food, etc. there?