Fresh strawberries

They’re everywhere right now: Strawberries, raspberries, black and blue berries, even those heavenly mulbs… Sure, there’s probably no better way to enjoy them then by the naked handfuls, but many great recipes abound that are both easy as pie (that too, of course) and showcase these tart, tangy, super sweet, healthy and versatile bite-sized summer fruit darlings.

Because summer never seems to last, you can capture the flavor and make solo or mixed berry jams, jellies and marmalades as sweet or tart as you like—perfect for spreading on toast, pancakes or adding to baked goods throughout the rest of the year.

Although you can add them to cereals and oatmeal or any number of morning power smoothies, why not make from scratch a yummy batch of blueberry pancakes topped with fresh blackberry syrup; or bake fresh blueberry muffins for a spectacular summer weekend brunch?

Salads taste sublime with a simple raspberry or strawberry vinaigrette: Simply smash your berries, mix with a bit of fresh olive oil, lemon juice, a splash of cider vinegar, some freshly ground mineral salt and black pepper and you’ve got a tangy, sweet salad dressing in no time. You can also slice those strawberries right into a simple leafy green salad with sliced cucumbers and golden beets, roasted walnuts and fresh herbs. And serve them alongside a chilled strawberry soup… yum!

A glass of fresh strawberry or blueberry juice makes the perfect sips for washing down that homemade blackberry pie, cobbler or tart. Or maybe you prefer a cool and fruity, blackberry mousse, strawberry shortcake or a raspberry parfait with a scoop of homemade mulberry sorbet? Berries soaked in vodka… now we’re talking. Oh yes, I almost forgot, the very berry best ways to eat them… dipped in chocolate fondue. It’s the perfect decadent dessert for your summer entertaining—and it’s perfectly all right if the only guest is you! 

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jilelttinger

image: ellie