Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar and Mint
Because of Virginia Beach’s affinity with the beloved strawberry (a depiction of it is even on the city seal) the fruit is celebrated Memorial Day weekend annually at the Pungo Strawberry Festival. The event started in 1983 and draws an estimated 120,000 folks for a parade, music, a carnival, pie-eating contest, strawberry bake-off and other festivities.
Grab some strawberries in season—they are appearing at farmers markets and farm stands across Hampton Roads, and, if you check out the Virginia Department of Agriculture’s Virginia Grown website, you can find places to go out in the field and pick yourself.
This recipe, which combines sweetness from sugar, acidity from balsamic vinegar, and green flavors from mint, extracts wonderful flavor profiles in the berries.
It makes a great ingredient to scoop over ice cream, pound cake, a cream biscuit, waffles, pancakes, as a filling for crepes, or served in a bowl topped with whipped cream and a butter cookie on the side.
2 pounds strawberries, capped and cut into quarters
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
8 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
Place berries in a large bowl and add sugar and balsamic vinegar. Gently toss the berries to coat, cover, and refrigerate at least a half-hour. Before serving, add the chopped mint leaves and gently toss.
Makes about 4 cups.
For best results, use aged Modena or other premium balsamic vinegar.