Southern Palate: What’s in Season at Kiawah River + Burrata with Strawberries Four Ways Recipe

It’s strawberry season, which means it’s finally time to enjoy the gleaming-red, fresh and flavorful berries from local farmers markets, farms and grocers. The Lowcountry’s mild weather and early spring often cause ripe berries to be ready for picking a few weeks before they are available in other regions.

Strawberries are celebrated in the Lowcountry with festivals and community gatherings, and several local farms offer the chance to pick your own. To find some of the ripest berries, residents and visitors can stop by the newly opened Rosebank Farm farmstand at Kiawah River, where Charleston natives Sidi Limehouse and Louise Bennett sell seasonal produce grown on 30 acres within our community.

To make the most of your strawberry picking adventure, choose berries that are fully red and remember that the smaller berries are often more flavorful. After you leave the fields, it’s time to dig in or throw on an apron. Working with fresh, peak-season strawberries is an awakening – a sweet kiss of springtime!

Because of a strawberry’s versatility, a variety of cooking methods can transform a single dish. While these sweet berries are delicious eaten alone or in desserts, strawberries also accentuate the salty, nutty and peppery flavors of savory, meaty dishes. And here’s a quick tip: oven-roasting not-so-ripe strawberries brings their sweetness to life.

At Kiawah River, our favorite version of showcasing a strawberry is Burrata with Strawberries Four Ways, courtesy of Garden & Gun and Glenn Osterberg, chef de cuisine at Rhubarb in Asheville, N.C. This recipe uses the berry in four ways: fresh, pickled, roasted and blended into a vinaigrette.

Burrata with Strawberries Four Ways (Yield: 4 servings)

•   3 tbsp. maple syrup
•   ½ cup apple cider vinegar
•   ¾ cup water
•   3 tsp. salt, divided
•   1 cup strawberries, quartered, divided
•   3 tbsp. rosé wine
•   1 tbsp. olive oil (for roasted berries), plus ½ cup olive oil (for vinaigrette)
•   3 tbsp. white miso paste
•   4 tbsp. sherry vinegar
•   ¼ cup whole strawberries, stemmed
•   1 8 oz. package of burrata
•   Dill, chopped for garnish (optional)
•   Spring onion, chopped for garnish (optional)

For the pickled strawberries, add maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, water, and 1 tsp. salt to a medium pot on high heat and bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil, remove from heat, add ⅓ cup of quartered strawberries, and let sit for at least ten minutes (or longer for bolder flavor).

For the rosé roasted strawberries, preheat oven to 375°F. In a bowl, combine ⅓ cup of quartered strawberries, wine, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tbsp. olive oil. Place on a baking tray and cook until tender and juicy, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

For the strawberry vinaigrette, add ⅓ cup of quartered strawberries, white miso paste, sherry vinegar, and 1 tsp. of salt to a blender. Blend on medium speed until smooth, then slowly add ½ cup olive oil until the vinaigrette has a creamy consistency.

In a bowl, combine ¼ cup of fresh whole strawberries with the pickled and roasted berries. Drizzle with vinaigrette and gently mix. Season to taste with salt. Place burrata in the center of a serving plate and pour the strawberry mix on top. Garnish with dill and chopped spring onion.

No matter how you choose to enjoy your berries this season, celebrate this springtime sweetness! Your palate will thank you.