All hail the mighty strawberry! Plump, tiny, and sweet, the strawberry is a mainstay of dessert, especially during the far-too-short strawberry season (that’s now, hint hint.) But don’t limit the strawberry – the strawberry longs to stretch its wings and apply that tasty, tangy-sweet flavor to savory dishes, too. Here are three to get you started.

Strawberry Vinaigrette
1 cup olive oil
1/2 pint fresh strawberries, halved
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoon white sugar

In a blender or food processor, mix olive oil, strawberries, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, tarragon and sugar. Blend until smooth.

Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Strawberry Sauce
Juice and zest of 2 limes, plus 1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving
1/4 cup coarse-grain mustard
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Two 14- to 16-ounce pork tenderloins, trimmed of fat and cut in half crosswise
2 slices of bacon, chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1 whole star anise
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 pounds fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
Juice of two lemons (4 tablespoons)

1.Combine the strawberries, brown sugar and lemon juice in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Partially cover with a lid and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries are softened and release their juices, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

2.Pour the strawberries into a blender and blend until smooth.

3.Press the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer and set aside.

1.Preheat the oven to 400°. In a resealable plastic bag, combine the lime juice and zest and the mustard with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Place the pork in the marinade, turn to coat and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2.In a medium, heavy saucepan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the onion and garlic; cook for 1 minute. Add the Worcestershire sauce, nutmeg, star anise, red pepper flakes and strawberry sauce and simmer until the sauce starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Push the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into a small saucepan and keep warm.

3.Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until the oil ripples. Remove the pork from the marinade and sear on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes total. Place the skillet in the oven and roast until cooked through but still juicy, about 10 minutes for medium. Place the pork on a cutting board, tent loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes more. Slice the pork and serve with the sauce and lime wedges.

Strawberry Soup
2 pints strawberries
2 cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

In a blender, combine the strawberries, yogurt, orange juice, sugar, water and cardamom. Puree until well mixed. Chill and serve.

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