2 lb. fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick (about 4 cups)
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
8 to 10 medium fresh basil leaves
Tip: To maintain a strawberry’s beautiful shape, use a paring knife to remove the cap with an angled cut.
In a large bowl, gently toss the strawberries with the sugar and vinegar. Let sit at room temperature until the strawberries have released their juices but are not yet mushy, about 30 minutes. (Don’t let the berries sit for more than 90 minutes, or they’ll start to collapse.)
Just before serving, stack the basil leaves on a cutting board and roll them vertically into a loose cigar shape. Using a sharp chef’s knife, very thinly slice across the roll to make a fine chiffonade of basil.
Portion the strawberries and their juices among four small bowls and scatter with the basil to garnish, or choose one of the serving suggestions below.
- Serve the strawberries over grilled or toasted pound cake. Garnish with a dollop of crème fraîche.
- Put the berries on split biscuits for shortcakes; top with whipped cream and scatter with the basil.
- Layer the berries with ice cream or yogurt for a parfait. Garnish with the basil.
- Spoon the strawberries over a poached or roasted peach half.
- Use the berries as a filling for crêpes or a topping for waffles.
- Mash the berries slightly and fold into whipped cream for a quick fool. Garnish with the basil.