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Strawberry pizza? Try this and more

Although most of us probably just slice and eat strawberries, there are any number of recipes using the springtime fruit in main dishes, salads and of course, desserts. Here are just a few.
As the weather gets warmer, we want to turn on the oven less and less. The recipe below uses the oven for a just short time, and provides a main-dish option for strawberries. This recipe comes from Cooking Light.
• 1 (12-ounce) prebaked pizza crust
• 1/3 C. (3 ounces) crumbled
goat cheese
• 1 C. sliced strawberries
• 1 C. trimmed watercress
• 1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
• Dash of salt
• Dash of freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 C. (1 ounce) shaved fresh
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
• 3 Tbsp. shelled dry-roasted
pistachios, chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place crust on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven; arrange goat cheese evenly over crust. Combine strawberries, watercress, olive oil, juice, salt, and black pepper; toss gently to coat. Arrange strawberry mixture evenly over goat cheese. Sprinkle pizza with Parmigiano-Reggiano and nuts. Cut into 12 wedges. Serve immediately.

With the following recipe from Cooking Light, you don’t have to turn on the oven at all. Very appealing to me! This shows how strawberries make a nice addition to most any dish, especially salads.
Dressing
• 1 Tbsp. sugar
• 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
• 1 Tbsp. water
• 1/8 tsp. salt
• 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Salad
• 4 C. torn romaine lettuce
• 4 C. arugula
• 2 C. quartered strawberries
• 1/3 C. vertically sliced red onion
• 12 ounces skinless, boneless
rotisserie chicken breast, sliced
• 2 Tbsp. unsalted cashews, halved
• 1/2 C. (2 ounces) crumbled
blue cheese

To prepare dressing, combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Gradually drizzle in oil, stirring constantly with a whisk.
To prepare salad, combine romaine and next 4 ingredients (through chicken) in a bowl; toss gently. Place about 2 cups chicken mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 11/2 teaspoons cashews and 2 tablespoons cheese. Drizzle about 4 teaspoons dressing over each serving.

If you don’t want to make your own salsa, you can pick up a jar of Strawberry Salsa from Patterson Farm. The recipe below is also from Cooking Light.
• 1 pint strawberries, capped and cut
into quarters lengthwise
• 2 Tbsp. sugar
• 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Place strawberries in bowl and toss with vinegar and sugar. Cover and allow to rest on the counter for about an hour, to create juice, then chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Toss again before serving, and if desired, drizzle with a bit of vinegar.
Note: This recipe should be made and eaten when it is ready. Otherwise, the strawberries will be too mushy.

I ran into Phyllis Moysan at the farmers market, and she was happy to share her recipe for Strawberry Pudding.
• 3 C. strawberries, capped and halved
• 1 package strawberry Jell-O
• 2 packages instant vanilla pudding
• 3 C. milk
• 1 C. sour cream
• 3 C. Cool Whip
• Vanilla wafers

In pan, sprinkle dry Jell-O over strawberries. Heat over medium heat until Jell-O dissolves. Set aside to cool.
Mix pudding and milk. Stir in sour cream and one cup Cool Whip. Layer vanilla wafers, pudding and strawberries in clear glass bowl or trifle dish. Top with remaining Cool Whip.

Sue Eagle told me that the following recipe couldn’t be easier. Sounds good to me!
• 1 box Ball Instant Fruit Pectin
• 12/3 C. fruit, finely chopped (Sue uses
a potato masher)
• 2/3 C. sugar or Splenda
Place fruit pectin in bowl. Stir in sugar, then mashed fruit. Stir for about 3 minutes until well blended, then place in glass jars. If you’re not going to eat within 3 weeks, put jars in freezer, then use as needed. Remove from freezer 30 minutes before you plan to use.

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