This delicious concoction falls in the same line as the pineapple salsa, so I thought I'd follow-up with it. Here in a salad-like dish, the strawberries play the part of the tomato, just as the pineapple does in the salsa below.
You could take this dish many ways. As you'll see by the ideas at the bottom of the recipe, all the suggestions are dessert preparations. But I think you could also spoon this over baby spinach for a nice salad, maybe with some goat cheese and pecans. The balsamic vinegar brings out the best in the sweet strawberries and it isn't too tart. The basil makes it heady, aromatic and savory, as if it were tomatoes, only the sweetest imaginable tomatoes.
I quartered the recipe when I made it because I just wanted to taste it. We topped ours simply with some plain yogurt. I thought it was delicious; dear husband proclaimed it "weird, but good."
Try this as the strawberry season approaches and tell me what you think.
Balsamic-Macerated Strawberries with Basil
by Sarah Breckenridge
For this recipe, there’s no need for an expensive, artisanal balsamic vinegar—a grocery-store vinegar is perfectly well suited.Serves four as a dessert; six to eight as a filling or topping.
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
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.
~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.
From Fine Cooking 86