7 In Desserts

Balsamic Strawberries with Greek Yogurt

Balsamic Strawberries with Greek Yogurt

 

The Italians have it down right. Strawberries with balsamic vinegar is a classic recipe from a region in Northern Italy famous for its balsamic vinegar. It might seem odd to use vinegar in a dessert, but adding a bit of acidity generally makes the taste of a fruit shine (for instance, adding a bit of citrus juice). In this case, the balsamic vinegar adds just the right amount of complexity to make for an amazing flavor combination. And adding a bit of cracked pepper gives just the right amount of zing. If you’re a bit wary of this combination, you’ll just have to taste it to become a believer!

We first saw this idea from Jack Bishop in The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook. His recipe uses the traditional white sugar to macerate the berries, but a local podcast turned me on to the idea of trying maple syrup to sweeten the berries (thanks to chef Daniel Orr for the idea!) The maple syrup version won out hands down in our taste test – the syrup made for a much fresher taste that highlighted the berries beautifully. (Plus, opting for natural sweeteners like honey and syrup in favor of sugar has made our taste buds more attuned to the natural flavors!)

Greek yogurt with a bit of honey is my favorite for a fresh and simple summer dessert, so I chose it as an accompaniment for the berries. You also could serve them with vanilla ice cream, gelato, cream, or whatever suits your fancy!

If you can, try to use local honey and maple syrup, as well as local berries – you’ll taste the difference!  Thanks to Locally Grown Gardens for the berries and syrup, and Rekeweg Honey for the honey.

Balsamic Strawberries with Greek Yogurt
Serves four
Inspired by The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook

What You Need
2 cups strawberries (1 pint)
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
15 ounces Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
A few mint leaves
Fresh ground pepper

What To Do

1  For the berries: Wash the strawberries and slice them. In a small bowl, mix the berries with 2 tablespoons maple syrup and 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar. Let sit (macerate!) for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Prior to serving, add a few grinds of fresh pepper.

2  In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt and about 2 tablespoons honey, or more or less to taste.

3 Chiffonade a bit of fresh mint.

4  To serve, place a dollop of the yogurt in a bowl. Top with berries and mint.

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living
    June 17, 2011 at 7:53 am

    I recently purchased vanilla balsamic vinegar, and I think it would be perfect for this recipe! Strawberries have been delicious lately, and I’m looking forward to making this healthy dessert.

    • Reply
      Alex
      June 17, 2011 at 8:22 am

      Oooh, I didn’t know that existed. Seems like it would be good!

  • Reply
    Lindsey@Lindselicious
    June 17, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Oooh cant wait to try this with my greek yogurt! Love strawberries and balsamic.

  • Reply
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
    June 17, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Strawberries with balsamic is a wonderful combination. This has to be delicious over the creamy greek yogurt!

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    June 17, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    This would be an elegant dessert… or a great breakfast!

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    June 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Had it (thanks again, by the way!), LOVED it, can’t wait to make it myself!! :)

  • Reply
    Snippets of Thyme
    June 23, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    I agree! I just marinated some peaches in maple syrup and basil. Then, I seared them in a skillet as a “relish” for grilled pork chops. They were so tasty. Its funny that you mention that here!

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