Saturday, July 17, 2010

Balsamic Drizzled Strawberries

Fresh ripe plump red strawberries
always seem to scream summer to me. When I was a kid growing up in New York, there were many local farms within a days drive where we could go pick our own berries. Actually, in New York, there are tons of "pick your own" type places for just about everything that can be locally grown. To let a kid loose in a field full of fresh strawberries growing in low bushes in the sun was such a great adventure and a thrilling experience. There were bugs to chase, farm rows to run wildly through, laughing and giggling, and everywhere you could look, little green bushes spotted heavily with delicious red berries.

We always ate more than we ever managed to take home, as our juice-stained mouths and fingertips easily proved. It was a great way to spend a lazy summer day.

I haven't been to a pick your own farm in years, but the next best thing is to pick up a box at a local farmer's market. As I did when I was a kid, I ate nearly half of them just out of hand, but the rest I sliced, sprinkled with the tiniest bit of sugar, and then drizzled with a touch of strawberry basil balsamic vinegar. I know this may sound a bit weird, but the taste was really quite amazing. It was slightly tangy, but the sugar brought out the sweetness of the berries, and the hint of basil was a really nice touch. The vinegar tasted so good, I even tipped my glass to drink every last drop.

Balsamic Drizzled Strawberries
(serves 1-2)

1-2 handfuls fresh strawberries, hulled, sliced
1 tsp sugar, to taste
1 tsp strawberry basil balsamic vinegar (I used Archer Farms brand)

Slice berries, then sprinkle with sugar and drizzle with some of the vinegar. Allow to macerate a few minutes, if you can stand to wait that long. Spoon into serving dishes and enjoy.