It is strawberry time in Beaufort, SC ! And the place to go to pick these sun-ripened jewels of delicious sweetness is Dempsey Farms on St. Helena Island. There is nothing quite so enjoyable as taking a basket and walking through the rows and rows of strawberry plants to find the perfect berry – bright red with frilly green leaves on top. And half the enjoyment is picking a few strawberries that don’t make it into the basket!
Here’s a couple of trivia questions. What fruit has its seeds on the outside? You guessed it, strawberries! Along with blackberries, raspberries, bayberries, cashews and pineapples. Why is the strawberry red? Give up? To attract birds to eat and spread the seeds. Nature is so very clever.
This year I’ve not picked strawberries (there is still time!); however, this hasn’t deterred me from purchasing Florida grown berries at my local grocer. I love them in my morning shake leafy greens and all, atop a salad, mixed into Greek yogurt or just plain and simple.
My absolute favorite way to enjoy strawberries is dipped into chocolate! So the other day when I needed to take along a treat to a ladies tennis match I decided that a platter of chocolate dipped strawberries would be the perfect elegant, delicious and maybe even nutritious treat! They make such a “wow” presentation and they are so simple to make.
To make 24 of these lovelies I did the following –
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (aluminum foil will work)
- Chop 1/4 pound of dark chocolate. Note: I used Trader Joe’s Belgian Chocolate because this is what I had on hand. I’ve also used Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Chips.
- Place chocolate in microwave safe bowl.
- Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Take bowl from microwave, bow will be hot. Be careful and use a hot mitt. Stir chocolate and if not melted through put into microwave for another 30 seconds. Check chocolate and stir until all chocolate chunks are melted. Be careful not to burn the chocolate.
- Gently wipe strawberries with a paper towel or clean dish cloth. Do not wash because the strawberries will get mushy.
- Hold the strawberry by the green leafy tops and dip half of the strawberry into the chocolate. Pull the strawberry out of the chocolate and let the excess drip off. I use a twirling motion.
- Place on baking sheet.
- When you’ve run out of chocolate or all strawberries are dipped place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about an hour.
- When ready to serve place on platter and enjoy!
These delicious treats always amaze. And they are spectacular with wine or a glass of bubbly! The tennis ladies loved them. They said they were an unexpected and special treat! Something so fancy and yet so simple is hard to resist!