Sometime between the publication of Geoffrey Chaucer’s first romantic Valentine’s Day poem and when Hallmark jumped into the celebratory fray, chocolate-covered strawberries found their place alongside Sweethearts candies as a romantic holiday treat.
Perhaps their popularity can be traced to easy preparation: Buy chocolate. Melt, coat, repeat. Or because strawberries are said to be a natural aphrodisiac.
Even chef Eric Ripert has pushed the confections as a sexy dessert.
But we must protest. A cloak of stabilized chocolate is not the best way to showcase the fruit. (And besides, we prefer the smaller, ripe strawberries of summer.)
Instead, try these impressive offerings fromour Recipe Finder:
Instant Strawberry Ice Cream . A good, creamy dish for the less-than-perfect specimens you’ll find in the grocery stores during the winter.
Strawberries in Pomegranate Molasses . A little sweet with a little heat, compliments of a few pinches of red pepper flakes.
Strawberry and Sweet Sour Cream Wraps . Crepes take just a few minutes to make and require about an hour of refridgeration time. They’re also perfect for a romantic breakfast in bed.
Strawberries and Cream White Chocolate Tart . Easy enough to assemble even on Valentine’s Day.
Strawberry-Glazed Carrots . A bit of love even in a side dish. Again, this is good for less-than-perfect fruit.