‘Tis the season of strawberry temptation. You know, such a good price on 4 fragrant ruby lbs. of strawberries that you don’t even think about the organic vs. conventional argument, or about who is going to eat them all. You put that clam shell right into the shopping cart and carry on.
And then a few days later, you re-encounter said clam shell, about two pounds lighter in strawberries. But the ones that are left are looking sad, faded, withered, mushy, maybe even a little gray and mossy in spots. A bit like Lola the Showgirl thirty years on at the Copa.
They seemed like a bargain at the time, but now they threaten to become food waste, a drain on your wallet, a stink in your trash can, those starving children in Ethiopia that your mom used to tell you about, yakkity, yakkity, just wrong.
Relax. There is a way to save them, make them delicious and desirable once again, make yourself feel better about your folly.
Roasting. Yes, roasting. Toss those aging beauties (do cut out those grey mossy bits, of course, and all the other dubious bits) in sugar and balsamic vinegar (and rosemary if you are so inclined), roast for an hour, and you will end up with some deliciously jammy stuff that you can use on toast, stir into plain yogurt, use to top ice cream or even experiment with to make some sort of chutney or relish for meats.
As the strawberry season is upon us, I know I won’t be the only one to make ridiculous seasonal purchases. Here, at least, is one solution to the retail hangover.
1 lb strawberries, hulled and cut into 1” pieces if the whole fruits are bigger than that
scant ¼ Cup sugar
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a bowl, toss the berries, sugar and vinegar. Spread berries on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for about an hour or until soft and dark. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and cool before serving. Will keep a couple of days in the fridge.