We had a lovely weekend in Carmel.
The highlights included:
Breakfast and baguettes at the incredible Lafayette French Bakery.
Several beachside strolls in beautiful morning light.
Giggling over the sandy beards that resulted from lots of playtime on the beach.
A drive through lavender fields in Carmel Valley.
As well as getting a close-up to some beautiful tide pools, sea lions and wild succulents in Pacific Grove.
Balsamic Roasted Strawberries
With all our running around, I got a late start to dinner on Saturday evening. An appetizer was necessary.
Balsamic vinegar and strawberries are one of those classic marriages in the food world. I used this recipe from Garnish with Lemon as inspiration.
1 pound fresh strawberries
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons good quality, aged balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Hull strawberries and cut in quarters. Place berries in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.
Sprinkle berries with sugar and drizzle vinegar on top. Carefully stir together.
Roast for 35-45 minutes or until vinegar is reduced and thickened and syrupy. Stirring once while roasting.
To make these sweet and syrupy berries into an appetizer, I topped black pepper crackers with warm goat cheese and the strawberry spread. So good.
If only we had had a few fresh basil leaves. A sliver of basil on each strawberry cracker would have been the perfect finishing touch.
This recipe couldn't have timed out any better. While it roasted away, I was able to prep my roast chicken for the main course.
But don't let my variation limit you. Use these berries as a topping for vanilla ice cream, swirled in oatmeal, in muffins or on grilled chicken. Heaven.