Balsamic Strawberries with Basil {recipe}

Here is one of the easiest desserts I have ever made – it is perfect for these sultry Summer evenings without even the merest whisper of a breeze to cool us down.

The balsamic vinegar enhances the flavour of the strawberries and brings out their colour beautifully. And after they have macerated for a mere 30 minutes, their juices combine with the vinegar to produce a delicious, syrupy liquid that is so good you could drink it. As for the baby basil leaves – they impart a fresh minty/anise taste that I love, and if basil is not your herb of choice them substitute it with another – mint would be great or even finely diced rosemary. Some people also swear by freshly ground pepper.

I think that most Summer fruits taste pretty good in their natural state but these strawberries are a sensational alternative for the burstingly ripe punnets you can find at the markets now. We picked ours in a farm upstate – on one of our many Summer holiday adventures.

900 grams/2 pounds fresh strawberries (around 4 cups), rinsed, hulled and sliced quartered
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
a handful fresh baby basil leaves

Gently toss the strawberries with the sugar and vinegar in a large bowl. Let sit at room temperature covered in plastic wrap for 30 minutes to allow the strawberries to release their juices.

Place into serving bowls and scatter with a few basil leaves for garnish and serve or…(see notes)

Notes: In addition to eating these on their own you can also have them with a dollop of vanilla ice cream or marscapone, on top of waffles or pancakes, to the side of the plain old pound cake or in between layers of a fluffy sponge with layers of whipped cream…


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