My partner SandeeACocina and I partner on a recipe once a month.
This month, we wanted to go with something a little sweeter than usual. Strawberries are in season both in the U.S. and Spain, so it only made sense to use strawberries. Every May I look forward to tasting that perfect jeweled basket of aromatic, sweet strawberries and I couldn’t be more thrilled to find a friend across the Atlantic who revels in some of these same simple pleasures of life. So strawberries it is this month.
We keep the recipes we make each month a “secret” from each other until the very last moment. We don’t see what the other has done until the day before we post. We then swap recipes — Sandee translates into Spanish and I create the photo montages of our pictures — it’s great teamwork!
This month we were both surprised and delighted with the hot/cold aspect of our recipes. The roasted strawberries are hot, messy, and sexy. Sandee’s ice bowl with sangria is cold, composed, and has a lovely surprise finish.
I was inspired to try roasted strawberries when a blog post over at Tricia Martin, by Dimity Jones, popped into my inbox. I was totally seduced by the simplicity of the recipe and the idea of roasting a spring fruit (not even a vegetable) — I tend to save cooking methods like roasting for fall and winter time foods — but am so glad I broke out of that box.
The Balsamic complimented the sweetness of the berries, further intensifying their naturally bright color. The brown sugar did its job of creating the most amazing caramelized strawberry ooze that just begged to be scraped from the pan and licked from the fork.
And the smell — the smell! — of these babies cooking is absolutely intoxicating. My apartment was literally as fragrant as strawberry fields forever as they sizzled on their hot little pan, eeking out beautiful dark red juices and creating one of the best strawberry desserts I’ve had in a long while.
I ate them straight from the pan! I promise I tried to put them on a plate, but alas, the forks in the photo do not lie: I ate this directly from the pan and I would have had all my friends do the same if they had been around, rather like when you share a fondue. The berries would however be smashing over some crumbly short bread, a Southern-style biscuit or with a dollop of crème fraiche.
Recipe inspired by Tricia Martin
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2 pounds strawberries
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1-2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Toss the strawberries, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar to coat. Pour onto a baking sheet and bake for 1.5 hours. You’ll know when they are getting near done, your house will fill with the most amazing smell of strawberries. When finished, take the pan out of the oven and sprinkle with the sea salt, serve warm with an optional scoop of creme fraiche, vanilla ice cream, or chopped dark chocolate. However, they really are fantastic on their own.