Normally, I’m a chocolate, caramel, cream, buttery cakey, ooey-gooey, dessert kind of girl. But when I happened upon a quart of beautiful, just picked strawberries in the Headhouse Farmers’ Market, they spoke to me. I knew i needed to do something that really showcased the fruit and didn’t interfere too much with its texture, flavor or freshness.
As I rummaged through the cabinet seeking inspiration, I spotted a small bottle of aged balsamic vinegar, which had been part of a delightful gourmet gift basket I received awhile back. An idea began to germinate–vanilla ice cream topped with sliced strawberries and balsamic vinegar. Do note, aged balsamic is a sweet, thicker, almost syrupy concoction which works with desserts as well as some salads, particularly those that feature fruits and nuts tossed with the greens. This oh-so-simple dessert was a showstopper; it highlighted the fruit, offered a unique and complementary flavor with the vinegar, and a bed of ice cream is the ideal summer treat. Did I mention it took all of 45 seconds to prepare a serving? And no oven required.
Here’s how to make heaven for one:
A scoop or two of best quality vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 tsp (or more) 18 year old balsamic vinegar, drizzled over top.
This would be wonderful raspberries, or with peaches as they begin to appear in markets.
If you can’t get your hands on aged balsamic (it can be hard to find and rather pricey–best to procure it the way I did as a gift!) then you can cheat and reduce regular balsamic. For four servings, dump a cup of regular balsamic in a saucepan and boil til it’s thick and syrupy. This may take about 20 minutes. Drizzle as above.