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Welcome spring with fresh, local strawberries
Some Kinda Good
strawberry chicken
Try spooning Strawberry Basil Sauce over hot grilled chicken. (REBEKAH FAULK LINGENFELSER/special)

Springtime means Farmers’ Market season, and April means strawberries. The Statesboro Main Street Farmers Market is alive and well once again with those friendly farmers’ familiar faces, delivering the freshest and best organic produce, meats and cheeses every Saturday morning.

Nothing gets my heart racing like the first sight of the season’s bounty. Bright red, plump, juicy, sweet strawberries are in season now, and they’re one of the prettiest and healthiest fruits available. Since ancient Roman times, wild strawberries have been used for a wide variety of medicinal purposes such as alleviating inflammation, fever and kidney stones. Rich in vitamin C and supportive of heart health, today there are over 600 varieties. Experts say consuming them on a regular basis can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Highlighted in both sweet and savory dishes, there is no shortage of recipes featuring strawberries as the main ingredient. I like them simply sliced over a bowl of cereal or simmered down with sugar to make strawberry preserves, used as a pop of color to garnish cakes, chopped with onions and tomatoes to make salsa, or sliced and tossed with candied Georgia pecans, dried cranberries and feta cheese in a mixed green salad. Perhaps the most popular way to make use of them in the South, though, is the tried-and-true strawberry shortcake. I can’t count the number of times my mama has served macerated strawberries spooned over the top of hot, buttery biscuits or a slice of light angel food cake with a dollop of fresh, sweetened whipped cream on her classic Spode Blue Italian China.

strawberry trifle
Strawberry Basil Sauce is luscious, slightly sweet and oozing with flavor. (REBEKAH FAULK LINGENFELSER/special)

My Strawberry Basil Sauce is luscious, slightly sweet and oozing with flavor, paired with fresh basil from my garden and a hint of lemon juice. The cornstarch helps the sauce to thicken, resulting in a velvety smooth finish, while the acidity from the lemon juice cuts the sweetness slightly, balancing the flavors. The sauce comes together in minutes and can be used in so many ways:

●       Serve it spooned over hot grilled chicken.

●       Pour it over cold vanilla ice cream.

●       Add rum and make a strawberry cocktail.

●       Pour it into ice cube trays and freeze for a flavorful addition to any drink.

●       Pour it over store-bought pound cake.

For more springtime recipes, visit my food blog at For now, I’ll leave you with the words of the late Robin Williams: “Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!'”

Some Kinda Good
Strawberry Basil Sauce

●       4 pints or ½ gallon of fresh strawberries, hulled and washed

●       1 cup sugar

●       Slurry, made with 1 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tsp water

●       Juice of half a lemon

●       1 tsp lemon zest

●       6 leaves of fresh basil

●       Pinch of kosher salt

Place strawberries and sugar in a large stockpot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring to combine. Add the cornstarch slurry and reduce temperature to medium-low. Allow the sauce to cook and thicken for about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Carefully pour the sauce into a food processor or blender and add lemon juice, zest, salt and basil. Pulse to desired consistency.