May day is a day of celebration around the world. Did you also know that 1 May is the official start of the strawberry season in the UK.
I know you can get them all year round, but we’re all about buying local, pick your own, berry joy. What better way to celebrate than with a big bowl of strawberries and cream… nice, but a bit boring.
I wanted to find a recipe that not only kept the strawberries intact, but that wasn’t a pudding or sweet. You can add sliced strawberries to a fresh crunchy salad, that would be nice, adding colour and sweetness in the same way people add mango to salads. You could go further and add some crayfish or prawns to the salad. Another idea would be to add either goats cheese or feta to a salad of baby gem lettuce, perhaps with pine nuts and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
In fact, it was the idea of combining strawberries with feta – salty, sweet – that led me to a different kind of recipe, that is both ridiculously easy and ever so good. I found it on the Lovefreshberries website, and if anyone should know a good berry recipe, they should.
Strawberry and Feta Tart
This takes 10 minutes maximum to prepare and between 25 and 30 minutes to cook. If you’ve ever used shop-bought puff pastry to make a tart, you are already half way there.
Roasting the strawberries give them a tang and enhances the sweetness which blends so well with a salty feta. Serve with a salad, or simply tuck in. It won’t last long.
● 375g sheet puff pastry at room temperature
● 200g reduced fat soft cheese
● 1 tbsp chives, snipped
● 2 tsp lemon thyme leaves or 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
● 125g feta cheese, crumbled
● 125g strawberries, hulled and sliced
● To serve: balsamic vinegar can be drizzled over the tart once it has come out of the oven (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200C or gas mark 6. Unroll the pastry sheet onto a baking tray, keeping it on its paper. Score a line 2cm from the edge down each side, so that all sides have cut. This allows the sides to puff up.
Next, simply combine the soft cheese, chives, thyme or lemon zest and some pepper (there is no need to add salt) and spread this mix evenly over the pastry.
Then, scatter the feta and strawberries over the top of the mix and bake in the pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden and has puffed up at the sides.