Balsamic Roasted Strawberries with Creme Fraiche Ice Cream

Since being back from our Europe trip I've realized the solace of one's home is often forsaken.  We seldom take the time to appreciate the commonplace of our lives, the comfort, security  the simplicity that comes along.  Instead I often find myself dreaming of traveling to a far away land and touching foot in every corner of this world.  I dream of colors, sounds, smells; I imagine the people, their faces, their clothes, their language.  Yet at the end of the day, I realize all my heart truly wants is some sense of peace.

I find in my (late) twenties I've fallen into a period of confusion.  A seemingly backwards evolution from my cheeky and egotistical adolescent years.  What had happened??  How is it that the older I become, the more I begin to realize how little I actually know?  The more answers I get the more follow up questions I have.  Everything is suddenly backwards where I actually beg my parents to lecture me, because YES I am finally ready after all these years to receive their wisdom. It's hard to find and maintain the perfect balance between love, work and self preservation.

Recent influx of work has taken time away from the kitchen.  It's been fun, exciting and exhilarating, yet at the end of the day I felt like something was missing.    It wasn't until I got back from our vacation that I realized how deeply rooted I am with food.  As much as I enjoy a nice dinner at a restaurant, I can't help but be that control freak when preparing my meals. Since being back I've done nothing but cook in the kitchen -- getting back to the rhythm, feeling my food, enjoying the beauty of self preservation. I relish in working directly with the ingredients I cook with -- feeling them, smelling them, tasting them -- it's become this deep connection between my heart and the earth and the result?  A beautiful recipe.

I bought these organic strawberries last Friday and then left town for the weekend, completely forgot about them and come around Tuesday they were not at their best.  What to do with these slightly wilted beauties?  They only have a few wrinkles after all.  I could've easily tossed them in the trash but I managed to salvage the little life they had left and transformed it into something blissful.  The best way to salvage old fruit?  Roast them.

Roast them with a little cinnamon and sugar or I tossed mine in some Balsamic Vinegar from Modena Italy (available through Artizone) and brown sugar.  The sugar, vinegar and juices from the berries caramelize into a luxurious fruity and tangy reduction -- perfect over some rich and creamy creme fraiche ice cream.

Balsamic Roasted Strawberries with Creme Fraiche Ice Cream
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Joy Zhang
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 4
Balsamic Roasted Strawberries with Creme Fraiche Ice Cream adapted from Epicurious
  • 2 pint baskets strawberries, stems removed
  • 3 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups Creme Fraiche Ice Cream
  1. Rinse the strawberries in cool water, place in a strainer or colander, and shake off most of the water. Slice the strawberries about 1/8 inch thick, place them in a large bowl, and sprinkle them with the sugar.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Toss the strawberries with the balsamic vinegar, and put the strawberries and all of their juices into a large saute pan or a large ovenproof dish. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes, until the juices are bubbling and the strawberries are hot but not mushy. Divide among individual dishes and serve with a scoop of Creme Fraiche Ice Cream (1/2 cup per serving). Serve immediately.