Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I blame my love of strawberries on being born in the strawberry capital of the world. My birthplace is also the largest grower of strawberries in the state of California, and California supplies 85% of the nation’s strawberries. While it has the unfortunate name of Oxnard, it’s home to what’s known as the Oxnard Plain and one of the most agriculturally fertile areas of the world. So I guess you could say I was born with the best strawberries coursing through my veins, but that would be a bit dramatic, no?
Speaking of the best strawberries, I am not going to entertain the overdone banter of Oregon strawberries being better than California strawberries. Here’s the deal. If you pick a berry ripe from the plant, and eat it within a few hours of said picking, it’s going to be much better tasting than one that’s shipped long distances.
Okay, now that’s out of the way, let’s just do a round up here on Lelo in Nopo’s blog history of writing about strawberries. We have…
Strawberry freezer jam
Strawberry rhubarb cooler
But I’m adding this to the list:
That there, my friends, is my new favorite love. Roasted strawberries with balsamic vinegar. After making our year’s supply of strawberry freezer jam and freezing bags of berries, I was still staring at some fresh strawberries, beyond what we could eat this week. Intrigued with reading of roasting strawberries, I tossed 6 cups of berries with ¼ cup sugar and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. I spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet and into the 425 degree oven they went for 40 minutes. Once they were done and had cooled, I poured them into a container, making sure to get all of the juicy bits along with the berries.
Um, holy moly. The balsamic vinegar serves to deepen and strengthen the flavor of the strawberry, creating a really delicious sauce, perfect for shortcake or vanilla bean ice cream, or shortcake with ice cream if you’re feeling decadent. In the end? I opted to have it for breakfast with my plain greek yogurt. I’m thinking of stirring some into some homemade ice cream later this week.
And my love of strawberries continues.