This deliciously complex syrup is an amalgam of caramelized sugar, fresh strawberries and balsamic vinegar. You’ll eat it with a spoon.
I set out to make a balsamic syrup to go with the pile of baby lettuces, Hood strawberries, pea vines, mint, red onion, and baby cukes I scored at the Portland Farmers Market this morning, and somewhere in the process ended up caramelizing sugar, tossing in balsamic vinegar, and adding a pint of pureed strawberries. You never know what’s going to happen when you give the muse free reign.
The pile of lettuces, vines, vegetables, and berries turned into Strawberry, Pea Vine & Baby Lettuce Salad. I smeared a generous spoonful of Labne Crema (creamy yogurt cheese) on a salad plate, drizzled Strawberry Balsamic Syrup to either side of it, and arranged the dressed salad on top. Each bite, dragged through the bottom of the plate, was a symphony of flavors and textures.
Strawberry Balsamic Syrup
This deliciously complex syrup begins with caramelized sugar and is then transformed with the addition of pureed strawberries and balsamic vinegar. Ripe, full-flavored local strawberries are a must here.
1 pint ripe, local strawberries, hulled (1 cup puree) (or try raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, or peaches)
¾ cup balsamic vinegar
1½ cups sugar
- In a processor fitted with the steel blade, puree the strawberries, put into a glass measuring cup with a pouring spout, and set next to the stove, along with the balsamic vinegar.
- In a large, light-colored (stainless steel) skillet, add sugar, and set over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally with a silicon spatula, redistributing the sugar while it melts. When half the sugar has melted, tip the pan to collect the liquid to one side, and stir to help melt the remaining sugar. The developing caramel will look lumpy at this point. Cook the caramel to a medium brown only. For this syrup, we don’t want the bitter notes of a darker caramel.
- Quickly stir in balsamic vinegar and then pureed strawberries. The caramel may seize (become hard) at this point, but no worries. Continue stirring until caramel remelts and syrup is well combined.
- Let the syrup cool somewhat, and then strain through a triple-mesh sieve to eliminate strawberry seeds.
- Store in the fridge for up to several weeks. (It won’t last that long.)
Makes about 1½ cups.
More LunaCafe Fruit Sauces & Syrups
- Blackberry Lime Syrup with Star Anise
- Fresh Blueberry Lime Sauce
- Fresh Strawberry-Tomato Dessert Sauce
- Rhubarb Fresh Ginger Caramel Syrup
- Rhubarb Lemon Verbena Caramel Syrup
- Rhubarb Lavender Caramel Syrup
- Spiced Apple Cider Caramel Sauce
- Spiced Caramel Apple Sauce
- Strawberry Rose Petal Caramel Syrup
Copyright 2015 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.