Macerated Strawberries with Cracked Black Pepper - The Chef Upstairs


2 pints fresh strawberries, 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, 1/8 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper, French vanilla ice cream  


1.Remove the hulls from the strawberries and slice them. Small berries can be cut in  half while larger berries should be quartered.  

2.Toss the berries, vinegar, and sugar together until they are well combined.  

3. Allow the fruit to sit at room temperature for an hour.  

4.Cover and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them. They will hold for up to 24 hours  and the flavors will continue to meld with time.  


While this recipe is delicious as-is, you can change the flavor into something even more unique by choosing one of these additions instead of the cracked black pepper. Mix any one of these in with the  strawberries and vinegar before you let them sit for a huge burst of flavor.  

4 to 5 fresh basil leaves sliced in a chiffonade, 1 tsp. fresh mint, finely minced, 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest

Tips:When you work with just three ingredients, make sure each one is the best you can find. This recipe is going to be best at the peak of strawberry season, when they are perfectly ripe. I love going to  a local “you pick” farm to get berries for recipes like this, because they have to shine. This is also a great  place to use beautiful aged balsamic vinegar. Aged vinegars are thicker and have more of a syrup texture  to begin with, so they are great for maceration. Many cities have stores that specialize in oils and  vinegars now, so you can taste before you buy. 

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