So many strawberries, so little time

The World

There’s an overabundance of strawberries across the country, and rock-bottom prices to match. Why? And what should we do with all of them?

Janet Keeler, food and travel editor of the St. Petersberg Times, explains where all these strawberries came from, and shares recipes for making the most of them. And Lauren Der, 2009 Strawberry Queen of Plant City, Fla., shares stories from America’s strawberry capitol.

Florida Harvest Salad

* 12 ounces penne rigate
* 4 cups mesclun salad mix
* 3/4 cup red onion or Vidalia onion, sliced thinly
* 2 cups strawberries, quartered
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
* 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Cook and drain pasta according to package instructions. Put greens into large bowl; pour cooked pasta over salad mix. Sprinkle onions and strawberries on top of pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Parmesan. Toss all ingredients well. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Source: The St. Petersburg Times.

* * * * *

Strawberry Banana Split Cake

* 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
* 2 large egg whites
* 2 cups powdered sugar
* 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
* 6 bananas, peeled and halved lengthwise
* 1 (20-ounce) can (21/2 cups) crushed pineapple, drained
* 1 quart strawberries, hulled and halved
* 1 (16-ounce) tub whipped topping, thawed
* 1 cup chopped pecans

Mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter and press over the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Beat the egg whites in a large mixer bowl until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and the softened butter and beat for 10 minutes, until that mixture is fluffy.

Spread the butter mixture over the crust. Top with the bananas in an even layer, then the pineapple, then the strawberries.

Spread the whipped topping over the fruit layers and sprinkle with the pecans.

Cover and chill for three hours or overnight.

Serves 8.

Source: The Cracker Kitchen by Janis Owen (Scribner, 2009)

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.