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Balsamic Roasted Strawberries

This time of year the rhubarb [1] is popping out of the ground and I am impatient to eat those first tender stalks with their natural sweet partner, the strawberry. But, there are no strawberries yet, at least not in my garden. In order to satisfy my craving I go against my desire to use only the freshest ingredients from local sources. It is a philosophy I adhere to as much as possible. However, I live in MN and that means I am VERY limited as to what I can eat during the 8 months of the year when nothing grows. I am determined to learn home-canning this year, then I’ll have summer fruits in February. Until then I do buy fruit that is not grown here, or anywhere near here.

In summer the strawberries are so ripe they nearly explode with sugar in your mouth. This time of year they are good but their sweetness isn’t fully developed yet, so I jump up the flavor by roasting them with a bit of aged balsamic and sugar.

Here is how:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Toss 2 pounds of cleaned and trimmed strawberries with 1/4 cup of sugar and 3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar.

Spread the berries on a baking sheet lined with a silpat.

Bake for 40 minutes. Reserve the strawberries and the syrup that is produced. Serve warm with ice cream, chocolate tart [2], angle food cake [3], cheese cake or springtime crêpes.