Strawberries are the quintessential fruit of a British summer. They can be found from Wimbledon to a cricket tea and on every table through the land. But, what do you do though when they are getting just a touch past their best? Roast them. Yes, you heard that correctly, roasting over ripe strawberries with a little sugar, a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar makes for the best compote you can imagine. Never was there a simpler recipe than this roast balsamic strawberries but one.
The dish comes oozing with huge flavors, stores well and is so versatile. The compote is utterly delicious on rich, good quality vanilla ice cream, or for those with a less sweet tooth, pour over Greek yogurt. Use as a filling for tarts or cakes (a layer of these roast strawberries in a Victoria sponge is sublime). The strawberries keep really well in a jar in the fridge, so really, what is not to love?
The result from the brief marinating and then quick roasting is an intense strawberry flavour with a flash of acidity from the vinegar. Should you want to up the flavours even further then try a twist of black pepper before serving.
- 1 pound/450 grams strawberries (washed in cold water and hulled)
- 3 dessertspoons caster sugar (about 2 1/2 tablespoons)
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Optional: black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 300F/190C
- Put the washed strawberries into a large roasting tray making sure they are in one layer. Dust with the sugar, and then sprinkle over the vinegar.
- Roll the strawberries around by tipping the tray from side to side making sure that all the berries are covered.
- Put the roasting tray to one side covered with a tea cloth and leave to marinate for 20 minutes.
- After the marinating, put the tray into the centre of the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes. The strawberries will soften but keep a good shape. The vinegar and sugar will start to caramelize, make sure though that it does not burn.
- Take the roasting tin from the oven, leave to cool until cold, the syrup will thicken and become very tasty. Transfer the strawberries to a Kilner jar or similar and close. Store in the fridge. They will keep for several weeks.
How to Use the Roast Balsamic Strawberries:
Use the strawberries on ice cream, with yogurt or as a tart filling or anywhere suitable for soft, deliciously sweet strawberries.
Use a little black pepper when serving to lift what is already an incredible flavor. Perhaps not the best for children.
The roasted berries will not freeze well at all as the flavor is ruined and the strawberries will go mushy when defrosted.