Believe it or not, I do not have much of a sweet tooth. Occasionally, I crave a small piece of really nice chocolate or other little bits, but generally I am not one to go for dessert. However, his time of year the strawberries are just begging to be eaten, they are so sweet and delicious. I thought this was the perfect way to showcase the berries with the mellow flavor from the vinegar and the richness of the mascarpone.
Mascarpone cheese is a soft, rich and easily spreadable cheese, made from cream. It is native to the Lombardy region of Italy, where it is used in both desserts and savory foods. It is the main ingredient in Tirimisu but can also be found in pasta dishes, risotto, sauces etc. It has an almost butter-like quality and a small amount of this stuff goes a very long way, this is one of the things I like most about it.
Balsamic Strawberries with Mascarpone
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons raw honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup chilled mascarpone cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-pint of strawberries, hulled and sliced
fresh mint leaves
Combine vinegar, 2 teaspoons raw honey, and lemon juice in small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until honey dissolves. Boil until syrup is reduced, about 3 minutes. Transfer to small bowl; cool completely. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Combine berries and 2 tablespoons sugar in large bowl; drizzle with balsamic syrup and toss to blend. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Whisk mascarpone and vanilla in small bowl.
Divide berries up between two dishes and top with mascarpone topping and mint leaves.
This can also be served over biscuits or shortcakes, which is how Mark requested his.