Sweet, ripe red berries announce spring in a sorbet, a salad, and a simple dessert
Rosy strawberry sorbet
This juicy sorbet isn't merely rose-colored. It also contains rosewater, which combines so beautifully with strawberries that its flavor seems like an extension of the fruit. Neither heavy nor perfume-y, it gives the sorbet a delicate, aromatic sweetness.
As easy to make as a pancake, this classic French dessert from the Limousin region involves pouring a simple batter over fresh fruit (typically cherries) and baking until puffed and golden brown. The fruit rises to the top, leaving a soft layer whose texture falls somewhere between custard and cake.
Herbed romaine salad with strawberries
Strawberries go well with tender herbs like mint and tarragon. Tossed with toasted pistachios, creamy feta, romaine lettuce, and a very light honey-lemon dressing, the berries add bright notes to a refreshing salad.
A berry long season
Remember when local strawberries were only available in spring and early summer? Now California's strawberry season keeps going and going. In January the harvest begins in Orange, Ventura, and San Diego Counties; in May and June, Watsonville and Salinas hit their peak; and Oxnard and Santa Maria produce berries through the fall. Why such a long harvesttime? Newer varieties have been bred to produce fruit across the seasons. California's strawberry yield is still at its height from April to June, when all of the state's growing regions are in production, but now we can enjoy Western strawberries all year.