Balsamic Strawberries with Strawberry Sorbet

June 2013 151There’s nothing quite like fresh strawberries in the summertime. While there were a few vendors who had strawberries at the market two weeks ago, they made their grand appearance last week. Suddenly dozens of vendors had pints and quarts of small, but flavor-packed berries that taste and look remarkably different from the grocery-store variety. We purchased strawberries from a variety of vendors to taste and compare.

The first recipe on my list for this season was one from Mario Batali, featured in a recent issue of Food & Wine Magazine. It’s very simple—quartered strawberries tossed with good-quality balsamic vinegar and freshly ground pepper, served over strawberry sorbet. Mario recommends using a homemade strawberry sorbet to complement the balsamic-infused strawberries, but adds that store-bought also works well. I used this recipe for strawberry sorbet adapted from a recipe used at an ice cream parlor in Princeton, New Jersey. The resulting sorbet has a beautiful, red hue and is packed with strawberry flavor. It makes a wonderful dessert on its own. But add the balsamic-infused strawberries on top, and you truly have a showstopper.

Balsamic Strawberries with Strawberry Sorbet (from Mario Batali via Food & Wine; serves 6)

1 pound strawberries, quartered
1 1/2 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
Strawberry sorbet, for serving

In a large bowl, toss the strawberries with the vinegar and a generous pinch of pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Serve over strawberry sorbet. June 2013 134

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