I went to the farmer's market in Solvang yesterday.I was buying some green beans and the friendly farmer handed me two ripe strawberries to taste. So I did. I had no need for strawberries and was rushing home to start prepping for a dinner party last night. The peach dessert was already made and vanilla ice cream in the freezer. I had blueberries and raspberries in my market bag. The last thing I needed was more fresh ripe fruit. I told the farmer I would take three baskets.
Did he look at me and just know I wouldn't be able to resist? Or did he know that his fruit was so sweet, so beautifully sun-ripened that no one could resist? To top off my bounty, when I got home I discovered the kind farmer had added an extra basket to my bag! It was no mistake because the 3-packs were already boxed so he didn't count wrong. He purposely added an extra basket to my bag! Are the farmers always so nice in Solvang?
Anyway, my beautiful baskets of strawberries brought me to a favorite recipe from Ina Garten...strawberries with balsamic vinegar. This is such a delightful and deliciously-fresh summer dessert, I find myself returning to it year after year, and so it is on my list of Foolproof Favorites from Famous Chefs. The Barefoot Contessa strikes again.
"I don't believe in 'greatest'. I believe in favorites." -Steve Vai
Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar (Ina Garten)
8 cups fresh strawberries, sliced thick 5 T balsamic vinegar 2 T sugar 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper 2 pints vanilla ice cream for serving freshly grated lemon zest for serving
Thirty minutes to an hour before serving, combine strawberries, vinegar, sugar and pepper in a bowl. Set aside at room temperature. Place a serving of strawberries in a bowl with a scoop of ice cream on top and dust lightly with lemon zest.