Sweet, plump, juicy and red, strawberries are synonymous with summer.
While we can get strawberries at the grocery store year-round, nothing compares to fresh, ripe local berries in the summer.
We can easily devour pints by themselves (sometimes with a little bit of whipped cream), but they are excellent to cook with, as well, pairing with ingredients such as balsamic vinegar, black pepper, cream cheese, almonds and rhubarb.

ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen’s 2016 From the Grill cookbook.
Add some freshness to your next barbecue with our Strawberry Kale Salad, as featured in the new From the Grill cookbook, from ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen.
Tender baby kale and juicy strawberries are tossed with buttery avocado, toasted walnuts and tangy goat cheese in a sweet vinaigrette made with cider vinegar, grainy mustard and maple syrup.
This salad pairs particularly well with grilled chicken or saucy ribs.
If you’re looking for something a little more creative, try our Chilled Strawberry Rhubarb Soup, which is infused with Thai flavours such as lemon grass, makrut lime leaves and ginger.
The soup gets a bit of a spicy kick from fresh jalapeno and a pinch of cayenne, but the creamy coconut milk helps to mellow the heat.
This flavourful soup will definitely fire up the appetite for the meal ahead.

This salad recipe is from ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen’s new 2016 From the Grill cookbook.

4 tsp (20 mL) apple juice
2 tsp (10 mL) apple-cider vinegar
2 tsp (10 mL) finely chopped shallot
1 tsp (5 mL) maple syrup
1 tsp (5 mL) whole-grain mustard
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp (45 mL) grapeseed oil or canola oil
1½ (375 mL) cups sliced strawberries
1 pkg. (5 oz/142 g) baby kale
1 ripe avocado, sliced
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped toasted walnuts
1/4 cup (60 mL) crumbled soft goat cheese

1. To prepare dressing, whisk together apple juice, vinegar, shallot, maple syrup, mustard, salt and pepper until combined. Gradually whisk in oil until blended.
2. Combine strawberries, kale, avocado, walnuts and cheese in a bowl.
3. Add dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
makes 6 servings

Cook’s note: Baby kale is more tender and milder in flavour than mature kale. It is often used as a salad green. Look for it in the produce section of grocery stores where packaged greens are sold

SOURCE : nationalpost.com