I love strawberries and I prefer to eat them fresh than to use them in a cake or muffin when I can. As summer fades, though, so decreases the availability of good fresh strawberries. They get a little bit less pretty – for lack of a more accurate word – and I’ve been known to take home some that were slightly soft from the farmers’ market just to drag out strawberries season as long as possible.
My favorite way to improve less-than-perfect strawberries is to macerate them in balsamic vinegar and sugar. The sweet-tart, syrupy vinegar highlights the natural sweetness of the berries and draws out some of their juices to form a delicious sauce.Â Â Though you can certainly do this with perfect, incredibly ripe strawberries, I actually prefer to use slightly less than pristine fruit since they need the most help. If your berries aren’t quite sweet enough, add a tablespoon or two of sugar to your vinegar and it will help to sweeten them a bit more.
To make macerated strawberries: Â Use 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar per cup of sliced berries. Let the mix marinate in the fridge for a few hours or overnight, then spoon over yogurt or ice cream.
Clare EatsSeptember 13, 2005
i love strawberries mascercated in rasberry vinegar! mmm!
I haven’t seen fruit balsamics before
LoriSeptember 13, 2005
I was hesitant to try strawberries with balsamic vinegar, but you know what — the combination really works!
JenniferSeptember 14, 2005
The combination of strawberries and balsamic is addictive…I wonder what balsamic strawberry ice cream would be like…? Any thoughts?
JoeSeptember 14, 2005
I was also pretty hesitant to try something like this a few months ago but when I did it was such a surprise hit. Great idea to have over ice cream!
Gia-GinaSeptember 14, 2005
Balsamic vinegar was so foreign to me with strawberries until I met my hubby. The good stuff is syrupy and costs 50-150 for 4-8 ounces. It is said that a small barrel of vinegar is stored away when a female child is born and given to her husband as a dowry when she is ready to get married. The old stuff can be 20+ years old. I have yet to travel to Modena to find out for myself but I know that different families use different kinds of wood barrels which gives their vinegar a particular characteristic.
Here in Italy there are alpine strawberries, the size of a small thimble and they taste like no American strawberry ever has. I will post photos if I find them at the market.
AnonymousSeptember 14, 2005
That looks amazing.
keikoSeptember 15, 2005
Hi Nic – I’ve been enjoying summer berries as much as I can – you can’t beat this combo, looks great!
RebeccaSeptember 20, 2005
I love St. Helena Olive Oil Co.!! We went to Napa for our anniversary. We had planned to go wine tasting and ended up there. We had so much fun that we didn’t want to taste wine when we were done!
LushlifeSeptember 23, 2005
Thanks Nic I knew I could count on you for some ideas with strawberries. I bought one kilo of second strawberries for $5 Aus, and was thinking strawberry jam, then I saw your Balsalmic strawberries – I think I will buy some really really good icecream and serve it up for the adults at our lunch tomorrow.
NicSeptember 23, 2005
I love using balsamic in salads, so I’m glad that it has so many other uses. Don’t be afraid to try this one, guys!