Roasted balsamic strawberries

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You know life is too busy when you realize it’s almost the end of August and you’ve only been to a farmers’ market once. The friendly smiles from local farmers and their hauls of freshly harvested produce is always worth the trek across the Danforth and down Pottery Road to Brick Works, my favourite of Toronto’s long list of seasonal and year-round markets.

I realize the local strawberry season is almost over, but this super simple dessert was enough to satisfy an entire summer’s worth of these precious red jewels. This recipe makes just enough for two or three small portions, so you might want to double the recipe if making dessert for a crowd (or you want to enjoy leftovers).

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This is the first time I’ve roasted strawberries and it definitely won’t be the last. Letting them spend some time in the oven allows them to become tender and intensifies their flavour, since some of the water inside the berries evaporates, leaving the sweetness of the berries to become more concentrated.

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Roasting strawberries is a quick and easy process that you can do by simply slicing up your berries and popping them into the oven. I like to toss them with balsamic vinegar and a little bit of coconut sugar, too. Of course, what better way to serve them than with a big dollop of whipped cream!

Oh, summer, how I’ll miss you.

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Roasted balsamic strawberries

Yield: 2 to 3 servings

Ingredients:

For the coconut whipped cream:

  • 1 (13.5oz) can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 2 to 3 tbsp agave nectar or other sweetener
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean

For the balsamic strawberries:

  • 2.5 cups chopped strawberries
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. To make the coconut whipped cream, scoop the cream from the top of the can of coconut milk, reserving the water at the bottom of the can for other uses, like in smoothies.
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the coconut cream until smooth and fluffy. Add sweetener and vanilla seeds and continue to whip until incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to use. (This can be made a day ahead, if desired.)
  3. To make the roasted strawberries, preheat the oven to 400F. Place the chopped strawberries in a pan (I used an 8-inch round cake pan) and stir in the coconut sugar and vinegar until the strawberries are all coated.
  4. Roast for 10 minutes, or until the strawberries are soft but not mushy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Serve in small bowls topped with coconut whipped cream. This is best served immediately but can also be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve.
      

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