Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Easy Peasy Vanilla Balsamic Strawberries

It's summer and the last thing I want to do is crank on the oven to cook something.  Enter an oven and stove-free recipe that is so easy (seriously! it has 4 ingredients!) and refreshing and tastes fancy whilst being a breeze to prepare.  4 ingredients and 4 simple steps!

A day without strawberries is...well, a day with no strawberries and very sad indeed.

Isn't fruit just so unbelievably gorgeous?  The colors!  The textures!  Sorry for the exclamation points!

Balsamic vinegar adds earthiness and tang to the simple strawberries.  Aaaaannnnd, I'd like to introduce you to my secret weapon--vanilla bean paste.

My life was incomplete before this little beauty came into my pantry.  I order it from Amazon since I don't have time to be scraping out vanilla beans after a long day at the office.  The vanilla and balsamic and just a dash of honey make a delicious compote that just gets better and better the longer it sits.

These berries are wondrous over pancakes, waffles, yogurt, ice cream, you name it!  Or in my case, grilled polenta rounds and topped with pecans.  They are really versatile (cue Charlotte Web quote--"I am versatile, Wilbur.")

Have I mentioned the perks of crafting recipes for this blog?  Enjoying the fruits of one's labors, etc., etc.

Vanilla Balsamic Strawberries
Serves 2
Prep time: 10 minutes (come on, you can do it!  make this recipe!) and 1+ hour to let berries marinate
Kitchen gear required:  Bowl, knife, measuring spoon

1 1/2 cups washed and quartered strawberries
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1 tsp. honey

Ready, set, go!
1.  Wash and quarter the strawberries and put in bowl.
2.  Add balsamic vinegar, honey and vanilla bean paste (or vanilla if your Amazon order is still en route).
3.  Gently combine and let berries marinate in the fridge for at least an hour so all the flavors can marry.
4.  Serve on pancakes, waffles, yogurt, ice cream or grilled polenta and top with chopped pecans.


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