It is definitely strawberry season here in San Diego, and it’s hard to resist basket after basket of these little beauties. I like to buy mine at the local farmers markets, always searching for the local Carlsbad strawberries. In any case, I always want organic berries, since most berries absorb pesticides faster than many other fruits. In a pinch, the organic ones from Trader Joe’s taste almost as good and usually come from up north near Watsonville or Castroville, famous for rich soil and beautiful produce.
Pairing strawberries with balsamic vinegar has been on my list of desserts-to-try. Since I had recently splurged on a small bottle of good quality balsamic vinegar, I decided to make this for dessert earlier this week when a friend shared supper with us. You can play with how much vinegar and sugar you want, depending on the sweetness of your berries. We enjoyed these “straight”, but they would pair nicely with ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
Such a pretty dessert, it’s fun to play with your presentation. I dusted off some parfait glasses that were a wedding present to my grandparents, vintage 1922. They have an iridescent tint to them that I’ve loved since I was a little girl….Chilled martini glasses might be equally pretty.
TIP: Macerate the berries just before dinner, allowing them to sit at room temperature. This will add to the juices and fresh, bright flavors of this simple spring dessert.
- 1 pint organic strawberries, washed, hulled and halved - quartered, if large
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon best quality aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon best quality vanilla
- Fresh mint sprigs (optional garnish)
- Combine the strawberries, vinegar, sugar and vanilla in a non-reactive bowl.
- Allow berries to macerate - or "rest" - for 1 hour.
- Serve in individual glasses and garnish with mint sprigs.
Gorgeous Liz, and I love the story about the glasses too.
Thanks – I rarely use the glasses because I worry they will get broken, but my grandmother always told me, “Use your pretty things all the time.”
This might be one of the best ways to enjoy strawberries. And your photo is just stunning. I love it.
Fits with our healthy lifestyle, right – my motivating healthy food-writing friend.
Gorgeous! I am having breakfast in Punakha, Bhutan and Spring is just beginning in the Himalayans…no strawberries!
Wow – can’t wait to hear all when you and Freddy return – travel safely and Happy Easter. X0
This is one of my favorite ways to serve strawberries. We never get tired of them!
Funny I had never tried this before, a new favorite here.
I love the photo Liz. Our strawberries just started tasting wonderful again too. Orly, from the blog Yumivore, taught me about a type of ricotta cheese called soprafina that you can find at Whole Foods. If you pair it with the strawberries and balsamic, it is just delicious – snack, lunch, bkfst, or dessert.
I’m going to look for that cheese – thanks for the tip.
Stunning photo, I love the glasses too 🙂 I have a pitcher with drinking glasses that was my Grandmother’s too and I have NEVER used it, too precious….wanted to tell you that Driscoll’s is out of Watsonville so my berries come from there on our off season. We are just hitting strawberry peak right now (about three weeks ago). Costco’s Kirkland brand of Balsamic is not bad at all after you finish your expensive one!
Thanks – I paid a ton for a little bottle, Wendy – and I am a Costco shopper.
I love strawberries and balsamic, straight up,I can’t wait for the strawberries to hit the farmers market here in NYC. Still in the 30’s brrrrr…. Your berries give me hope that Spring will be here soon,
Funny, I always think of you as a California girl – you have had quite the winter. Remember, I moved here from Chicago – brr…
I have never tried strawberries this way, great recipe Liz! It’s not quite strawberry season here, feels a long way off as we are still getting snow!
You deserve a California vacation, Jayne –
Perfection. No ice cream needed. GREG
I agree – less is definitely more here –
I can’t WAIT until we have fresh strawberries here, I miss them more than anything over the winter.