Hip hip, hooray for strawberries
Strawberries are possibly the most summery of fruits: fragrant, juicy and sweet. Accompanied by a dollop of cream, they're an important part of the famous Wimbledon tennis championships.
If you're lucky enough to have picked them yourself, you've experienced one of the most joyful summer activities.
Inspired by a trip to Italy, this recipe makes surprising use of the sweet, red fruit. Strawberries with balsamic vinegar is a popular dessert (don't knock it until you've tried it!), but this turns the concept on its head, with strawberries being used for their sweetness in an otherwise savoury sauce.
1 cup strawberries, roughly chopped
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar, or to taste
black pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
1/2 tsp dried thyme (optional)
1/2-1 red chilli, chopped (optional)
2 tsp olive oil
1 Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat, then add the garlic if using, and fry until softened.
2 Add the black pepper, and thyme if using, then tip in the strawberries and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften.
3 Pour in the balsamic vinegar, sugar, and 1 tbsp water, and stir. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, adding more water if the mixture starts to look too sticky.
4 Serve over roast or grilled meat, poultry or fish, or as a dipping sauce for nibbles. You can also leave it to cool, add 1-2 tbsp more olive oil and blend using a stick blender, then use as a dressing on a green or chicken salad.
Berry Asian salad
This unusual blend of veggies is coated in an Asian-flavoured dressing.
1 bag mixed greens or 1/2 round white cabbage, shredded
1-11/2 cups strawberries, sliced
1 handful dried cranberries or dried cherries
1 red onion, finely sliced
1 large carrot, finely sliced or shredded (optional)
1 handful toasted almonds, walnuts or sunflower seeds (optional)
2 tbsp sesame oil
2cm fresh ginger, grated
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
1 Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and stir gently to combine without crushing the strawberries.
2 Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or shake together in a screw-top jar.
3 Drizzle as much of the dressing as you need to coat all ingredients. Stir gently once more, then serve.
Gram for gram, strawberries contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits. They're also high in vitamin A, folate, potassium and antioxidants, and very low in calories.
There are about 200 seeds in every strawberry.
Strawberries are part of the rose family.
The acids in strawberries can help keep your teeth bright and white.
Each year, about 28,000kg of strawberries are served at the Wimbledon championships.