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You've never seen strawberries used like this before

It's the height of strawberry season, so take advantage of these sweet, juicy, cute-as-hell berries and put them in everything. You'd be surprised how versatile they can be. Most people automatically think strawberry shortcake or berry smoothies, and those are just fine — if you're also fine with being a total bore. Why not live a little and incorporate this seasonal fruit in fresh, inventive ways that'll make an unforgettable impression on your dinner guests. Here are eight surprising strawberry recipes that will surely blow your mind.

1. Strawberry focaccia with maple-balsamic onions

strawberry focaccia bread with maple-balsamic onions

Bet you never thought to put strawberries into bread, but since they go so well with cake, they are a welcome addition to any kind of carb. This strawberry focaccia recipe from Saveur is truly one of a kind, but hopefully it'll open a door for you and you'll never want to go back.

2. Grilled strawberry kebabs with basil

grilled strawberry kebabs with basil and balsamic glaze

Why not substitute strawberries for meat, stick them on a skewer and throw them on the grill? We've seen weirder things yield successful results. The balsamic glaze and basil gives this dish the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Check out the recipe from Cooking on the Weekends.

3. Lemon-basil strawberry caprese salad

Lemon basil strawberry caprese salad on sticks

When is caprese salad not a hit? Seriously, have you ever said no to mozzarella? Well, this recipe from Cooking on the Weekends is next-level caprese. You might have tried subbing peaches for tomatoes and thought you were pretty clever, but guess what? You've been schooled.

4. Strawberry bruschetta

strawberry, nectarine, grape tomato bruschetta on French bread

Whether you pronounce it broos-ketta or broo-shetta, strawberry bruschetta is awesome. Sweet and juicy strawberries give this classic a summery twist. Try this recipe from Home is Where the Boat Is that also adds sweet nectarines and tart grape tomatoes.

5. Strawberry, pistachio and goat cheese pizza

strawberry, pistachio, goat cheese, watercress pizza

As if you needed further proof that strawberries go well with carbs, here's the ultimate carb-lover's food: pizza. In addition to strawberries, this version from My Recipes features several unexpected pizza toppings like watercress and pistachios.

6. Avocado, strawberry, spinach salad with poppyseed dressing

Adding strawberries to your salad seems like a no-brainer, but when was the last time you did it? While we were all too busy putting our strawberries into parfaits and smoothies, someone out there was enjoying this colorful summer salad from Gimme Some Oven.

7. Grilled chicken with strawberry and basil salsa

Grilled chicken breasts with strawberry and basil salsa

By now you probably already know that fruit and meat taste pretty swell together, so naturally we're going to put strawberries to the test. Not only is this grilled chicken with strawberry and basil salsa recipe from Swirls of Flavor full of flavor and color, it's also healthy to boot.

8. Cookies n' cream strawberry cheesecake bars

cookies n' cream strawberry cheesecake bars with Oreos

As if we were going to leave dessert off the list entirely. Not when there's something like this out there. Look at how sexy that is. Oreos and strawberry cheesecake? No, you haven't died and gone to heaven. Take a deep breath, and get the recipe from Creme de la Crumb.

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