6 Ways to Make the Most of a Box of Strawberries

With a bit of help, even out-of-season strawberries can impress.

5 min read
Cx Blog: Strawberries

When little ruby-hued strawberries make their annual debut at the farmers’ market in New York City, I know summer is finally on her way. Typically, half a pint is gone by the time I get home. They need no accompaniment; they are sweet and perfect on their own — and frankly, too expensive to cook with. 

But the big strawberries that come in quart (or sometimes even larger) containers at my local supermarket are another story. They are available year-round and often on sale, but sometimes need help to reach their full potential. Over the years, I’ve found several ways to make the most of these berries by dunking them into dark chocolate, roasting them as an ice cream topper, or blitzing them into strawberry milk. No matter the season, they remind me of summer. 

Here are 6 ways to use up that whole container:

Strawberries in Red Wine 

Cx Blog: Strawberries in Red Wine

When I lived with a family in Italy during a semester abroad, my host mom would pour leftover red wine on top of chopped strawberries along with some sugar and serve them for dessert. For her, it was a casual weeknight treat, but I’ve served this at dinner parties over the years and it always feels fancy. While you’re prepping dinner, clean and hull one pound of strawberries. Cut large ones into quarters and halve smaller ones, sprinkle with two or so tablespoons of sugar (adjust based on the sweetness of your berries), toss together gently, and cover with about two cups of a dry but fruity red wine, like Merlot. Leave the strawberries to rest in the refrigerator during dinner and serve.

Roasted Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar

Cx Blog: Roasted Strawberries with Balsamic

Roasting is one of the best ways to amp up the sweetness of spring strawberries. Clean and hull a pound of strawberries, leaving smaller ones whole and cutting the larger ones in half. 

Place in a baking dish and toss with ¼ cup sugar. Roast in a 350°F oven for 30-40 minutes, gently stirring or shaking the pan a couple of times — the sugared strawberries will release liquid, creating a syrup. After removing, let cool for a few minutes, then add a few drops of balsamic vinegar. Add more if you like, but a bit goes a long way here, particularly when the strawberries are still warm. Serve the berries and syrup over vanilla ice cream or a slice of pound cake. 

Semi-Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

Cx Blog: Strawberry Shortcake

On days that are too busy for baking, buy a few good, flaky biscuits from a bakery. Before you start handling them, place a mixing bowl in the freezer (this will be used to make whipped cream later). Cut about a pound of strawberries into bite-sized pieces and toss them with a spritz of fresh lemon and ¼ cup of sugar so they can start macerating. If the strawberries aren’t sweet, don’t be afraid to add more sugar. Set aside for at least 30 minutes, tossing periodically. 

Meanwhile, grab that mixing bowl out of the freezer and beat 1 cup of heavy cream with 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar in an electric mixer or by hand. Split your biscuits in half and top first with strawberries and their juices, then cream, and finally the top of the biscuit. You can add an extra dollop of cream on top if you have it. 

Strawberry Milk

Cx Blog: Strawberry Milk

I was first introduced to this creamy treat at Prune, a restaurant that was a longtime staple of the East Village, and I have made a version from Smitten Kitchen for several years. It’s delightfully fruity and sweet, but buttermilk keeps it from being cloying. While it’s best with peak summer strawberries, I’ve found it also works with spring berries. Hull and halve a half pound of strawberries and toss them with ¼ cup sugar. Let macerate for at least an hour — you’re looking  for juices! Blitz in a blender (an immersion blender works, too) until smooth. Add 1½ cups whole milk and ½ cup buttermilk. Blitz again — it’s fine if seeds remain, but you don’t want any visible bits of fruit. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight to allow the flavors to meld. Stir or blitz again. Serve in a glass with a strawberry on the rim. The leftovers will hold for a day or two in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Strawberries and Greens

Cx Blog: Strawberries and Greens

Strawberries add a welcome sweetness to green salads. Quarter them and add them to a bowl of spicy baby arugula or spinach. You’ll want some crunch too, so add toasted slivered almonds, pepitas, or chopped walnuts to the mix. Toss it all with a shallot-y dressing that’s one part wine vinegar, three parts olive oil, salt, pepper, and as much minced shallot as you like. Add a few drops of water before stirring to help bring it all together. Once dressed, top the salad with crumbled goat cheese and serve.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Cx Blog: Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

On Valentine’s Day, chocolate-dipped strawberries might feel a bit cliché, but any other night of the year, they are a welcome dessert that’s easy to throw together. Wash 1 pound of strawberries and dry well using paper towels. Line a baking tray with parchment or wax paper and set aside.  

Bring ½ to 1 inch of water to simmer in a small saucepan and top with a heatproof bowl holding 8 ounces of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips. Make sure the water doesn’t boil and that the bowl doesn’t touch it, or you risk scorching the chocolate. As the chips start to melt, stir constantly until the chocolate is smooth. Remove from the heat and dip your strawberries into the melted chocolate. Place on the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes, or until the chocolate has hardened. The strawberries are best eaten that day. 


  • Photography: Paul Quitoriano

  • Food Styling: Lena Abraham

  • Prop Styling: Gerri William

  • Art Direction: Sarah Ceniceros Gomez