It's the week's obsession. A simple dish that's easy to prepare and pleases everyone. Now, strawberries with balsamic vinegar and black pepper is a popular dessert salad that every responsible and well-versed food lover has tried at least once. Variations of it have led to jams, ice creams, even pies pairing this summer-time trinity.
Yet, it's a bit old hat now, don't you think? (About a hundred years so in parts of Europe.) We've tried it, loved it, and still love it, but sometimes you need to just switch it up a bit. That's all this recipe - if you can even call it that - is. I was absent of any peppercorns so I just tossed some cacao nibs in the pepper grinder and let a cocoa flurry fly across the strawberries. I tossed in a few whole ones as well for a bit of crunch and contrast. The nibs add a hint of peppery chocolate; a slight bitterness to compete with all the sweet and tang from the other two ingredients.
Simple, surprising, satisfying. So far it's quite the crown pleaser. No recipe to really dictate; toss hulled and halved strawberries into a bowl, add a few glugs of balsamic and maybe a spoonful of sugar if you're feeling a bit jaunty, then some crushed up cacao nibs. Toss and let sit for a few minutes, then serve. Allow guests to add more cacao nibs if desired.