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Balsamic-Macerated Strawberries with Basil

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Serves four as a dessert; six to eight as a filling or topping.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 86

For this recipe, there’s no need for an expensive, artisanal balsamic vinegar—a grocery-store vinegar is perfectly well suited.

  • 2 lb. fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick (about 4 cups)
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 8 to 10 medium fresh basil leaves
Tip:
To maintain a strawberry’s beautiful shape, use a paring knife to remove the cap with an angled cut.

In a large bowl, gently toss the strawberries with the sugar and vinegar. Let sit at room temperature until the strawberries have released their juices but are not yet mushy, about 30 minutes. (Don’t let the berries sit for more than 90 minutes, or they’ll start to collapse.)

Just before serving, stack the basil leaves on a cutting board and roll them vertically into a loose cigar shape. Using a sharp chef’s knife, very thinly slice across the roll to make a fine chiffonade of basil.

Portion the strawberries and their juices among four small bowls and scatter with the basil to garnish, or choose one of the serving suggestions below.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve the strawberries over grilled or toasted pound cake. Garnish with a dollop of crème fraîche.
  • Put the berries on split biscuits for shortcakes; top with whipped cream and scatter with the basil.
  • Layer the berries with ice cream or yogurt for a parfait. Garnish with the basil.
  • Spoon the strawberries over a poached or roasted peach half.
  • Use the berries as a filling for crêpes or a topping for waffles.
  • Mash the berries slightly and fold into whipped creamm for a quick fool. Garnish with the basil.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on eight servings; Calories (kcal): 40; Fat (g): fat g 0; Fat Calories (kcal): 5; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 0; Protein (g): protein g 1; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 10; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 0; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 0; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I love this combo, but I use Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar which you can get from Basiks at Home. You can email them at: info@basiksathome.com to order. I also use vanilla ice cream instead of whipped creme, the temperature contrast btwn the hot cake, room temp strawberries and ice cream is wonderful.I also serve it in a martini glass for a small dinner party~

One of the best and simplest desserts I have ever made. Grilled angel food cake for about 2 minutes (1 min each side). Used an aged Italian balsamic. The basil was perfect with the strawberries.

This is an excellent recipe. Very sophisticated. I serve it over grilled pound cake to rave reviews!

Very easy and delicious recipe-great combination of flavors. The best thing about this recipe is its flexibility. The strawberries are delicious on their own as in the recipe, but can also be served over pound cake, ice cream, etc.

This recipe is so incredibly delicious and such a unique twist on classic strawberry shortcake. Make sure to add the basil in very thin strips. I like to put it on top of the whipped cream. I used Sara Lee all butter pound cake, brushed with a little melted butter and grilled it on a grill pan on the stove. It was absolutely to die for and my guests raved!!! Definitely make this one.

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