For many parts of the country, strawberries are a harbinger of springtime, but for lucky Louisianans, the season’s first berries can begin appearing at markets as early as January. Their sweetness and abundance both grow as the months get warmer, but nonetheless, strawberries can be a bright ray of sunshine in January.

In the early 20th century, the advent of refrigerated railcars and Ponchatoula’s rich soil led to the development of a vast strawberry industry. Many of those berries were packed onto the railroads for northern markets, but the local demand remained strong as the railroad’s heyday waned. Whether you’re eating them fresh, making infusions, or coaxing out even more sweetness by roasting them, Bayou State strawberries are the ultimate luxury.

strawberrySplurge for some nice bread here. You’ll be glad you did.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Strawberry and Crispy Prosciutto Toasts with Balsamic Reduction
Makes 6
  • 6 thin slices prosciutto
  • 6 (½-inch-thick) slices sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (4-ounce) wedge Gorgonzola cheese, sliced
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • Balsamic glaze, for drizzling
  • Watercress, to serve
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. On prepared pan, arrange prosciutto in an even layer.
  3. Bake until golden brown and crispy, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove parchment with prosciutto from pan. Increase oven temperature to 425°.
  4. On the same pan, arrange bread in an even layer, and brush with oil. Bake until golden brown, 6 to 10 minutes.
  5. Place slices of Gorgonzola on each toast. Top with sliced strawberries, and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Crumble crispy prosciutto over toasts. Top with watercress. Drizzle with more balsamic glaze, if desired.


During strawberry season, you’ll want to make as much of the Strawberry-Infused Gin as you can. Refrigerated, it will keep for at least 1 month.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Strawberry Gin & Tonic
Makes 1 Serving
  • 4 ounces tonic water
  • 2 ounces Strawberry-Infused Gin (recipe follows)
  • 1 fresh strawberry, sliced
  • Garnish: juniper berries, whole star anise, fresh strawberry, lemon slice
Strawberry-Infused Gin
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 2 cups gin
  1. In a large glass, combine tonic, Strawberry-Infused Gin, and sliced strawberry. Top with ice, and stir until combined. Garnish with juniper berries, star anise, strawberry, and lemon slice, if desired.
Strawberry-Infused Gin
  1. In a 32-ounce Mason jar, combine strawberries and gin. Cover and shake vigorously until combined. Refrigerate for 24 hours or up to 1 week. Strain well through a cheesecloth, and discard strawberries. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


This humble cobbler is sure to please.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Strawberry-Pecan Cobbler
Makes 6 to 8 Servings
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped pecans, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons whole buttermilk, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup bourbon
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, halved and hulled
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • Whipped cream, to serve
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly spray a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with baking spray with flour.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ¼ cup pecans, baking powder, and ½ teaspoon salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together 1 cup granulated sugar and eggs until well combined. Stir in butter and buttermilk. Add flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Pour into prepared skillet.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine bourbon, remaining ½ cup granulated sugar, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves, 3 to 4 minutes. Add strawberries, stirring to coat with syrup. Pour over batter.
  5. Bake until lightly golden and set on top, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons pecans. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, 10 to 12 minutes more. Serve warm with whipped cream.


Using a water bath helps ensure a smooth, creamy, luxurious cheesecake (and helps protect against cracking). Here, we also placed the pan in a large oven bag to protect against leaks.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Roasted Strawberry Cheesecake
Makes 1 (9-Inch) Cake
  • 1¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup crushed pretzels
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1½ cup sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, cubed, softened
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • Roasted Strawberries (recipe follows)
Roasted Strawberries
  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, pretzels, melted butter, ¼ cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and cinnamon until well combined; using a small straight-sided measuring cup, press mixture into bottom and 1½ to 2 inches up sides of 9-inch springform pan.
  3. Bake until set and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
  4. Wrap bottom and sides of pan in double layer of heavy-duty foil; place in a large oven bag, tucking ends so bag is flush with top of pan.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese at medium speed until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add flour, vanilla bean paste, remaining 1¼ cups sugar, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt; beat at low speed just until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until well combined, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl, Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined after each addition. Add sour cream and heavy cream; beat at medium-low speed until well combined, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  6. Carefully place springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour cream cheese mixture into prepared crust, spreading into an even layer with a small offset spatula. Using a slotted spoon, spoon 1 cup Roasted Strawberries on top of cream cheese mixture, and using a butter knife or fork, swirl into cream cheese mixture. Position oven rack so top of springform pan is 5 to 5½ inches from top heating element; place roasting pan in oven, and add hot water to come 1 inch up sides of springform pan.
  7. Bake until edges are set, top looks dry, and center is almost set, 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours, loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 1½ to 2 hours. Refrigerate in pan on a wire rack overnight, loosely covering with foil only when completely cool to prevent condensation from forming on top of cheesecake.
  8. Carefully remove from pan, and transfer to a serving plate. Use a warm dry knife to slice when ready to serve. Serve with remaining Roasted Strawberries.
Roasted Strawberries
  1. Preheat oven 375°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Arrange in a single layer on prepared pan.
  3. Bake until tender and slightly caramelized, 25 to 30 minutes. Separate strawberries from any juices; cover and refrigerate. Juices can be collected and used as desired.




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Rate this recipe:  

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.