Quick balsamic strawberries

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We had a bit of a hot streak in Toronto this past weekend, and both of my bike tires burst.

Both of them.

Like a grown-ass woman, I decided that I’d replace the decimated inner tubes myself, which I’ve done before a couple times. I bought myself some new inner tubes, dragged my bike into the shade, latched onto the bolts with my teeny wrenches, and … nothing. I grunted, I shoved, I poured out half my body mass in sweat, but those bolts might as well have been welded to the frame.

The nearest bike shop was about a kilometre away (uphill, naturally), and so as not to damage my wheels, I was going to have to carry my bike the whole way there. Now, you should know that my bike used to belong my mother, and it is old. Possibly older than I am. Carrying it anywhere is like trying to carry a young rhinoceros. But what choice did I have? Google maps said it should be about a twelve-minute walk.


Forty-five minutes and the remainder of my body mass in sweat later, I arrived at the repair shop. And even though I was at a REPAIR SHOP, I was so angry at my stupid little wrenches and my stupid inner tubes and the stupid sunny, gorgeous weather that I became determined that I would fix those inner tubes myself. So I somehow manged to convince the lovely guys at the shop to lend me their tools and expertise (in exchange for beer), and I proceeded — very, very slowly — to repair my bike.


Anyway, this story was really just a roundabout way to let you know that I can be absurdly stubborn sometimes. Thankfully, this usually doesn’t involve hauling a baby rhino across town; instead, it generally takes the form of my refusing to let produce go to waste. My roommates who had to suffer for years from my feverish bouts of All-The-Rotten-Ish-Fridge-Veggies-Soup can attest to this.

Now, strawberries and their other berry siblings tend to go bad rather quickly, and I also tend to purchase them in unreasonably large quantities, telling myself that I will make jam. When this fails to happen (see: 97% of the time), I snack on a bunch, throw some in a salad, and then turn the rest into these quick balsamic strawberries.


This is seriously one of the easiest, best ways ever to use up leftover berries. Cooking down the balsamic mellows out the harshness of the vinegar until all you’re left with is this rich, sticky, darkly sweet coating on the berries. I suspect that it would last about 3 days in a covered container in the fridge, but I’ve only ever seen it demolished over ice cream in minutes.



Quick balsamic strawberries

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 1 (ish) cup

A quick and delicious way to use up summer berries!


  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups strawberries, hulled
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • teeny pinch of salt


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and stir occasionally. Depending on the surface area of your saucepan, it should take 10-15 minutes for the berries to cook down--up to 20 minutes if you're cooking in a smaller pan.
  2. The berries are done when the mixture is thick and dark, and when you run a spoon across the pan, the juice runs sluggishly back into place.
  3. Serve warm or cool over ice cream, or drizzle on top of pound cake or cheese cake!

Do you have a favourite method for using up summer produce? Share it in the comments below!



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6 Responses to “Quick balsamic strawberries”

  1. Uncle Andy November 9, 2014 at 11:55 AM #

    Up till now, my “favourite method for using up summer produce” has been to gorge on it, cutting out the bad spots first. Thank you for introducing me to something a little more creative and inspiring. Up till now, the only time I’ve used balsamic vinegar is as an ingredient in a tomato salad, and even then, rarely, as most of my family doesn’t like the taste. This may be a good excuse to purchase some once again. (Ice cream is practically a staple around here.)

  2. Elsa August 20, 2014 at 4:50 PM #

    Percy and I were just wondering why we hadn’t heard from you in a while…and here you are! I laughed at your bike story! Sorry about that…and may just turn my newly bought strawberries into that balsamic version even if they are not going soft!
    Keep these cards and letters coming!

  3. Nanny Joan July 19, 2014 at 8:37 PM #

    I guess it’s good to know how to repair a bike, especially if you’re going to take a bike trip – but where did such a stubborn streak come from? Surely not me!!! My heart ached for you knocking yourself out like that on such a hot day. Oh well, you’re still here to tell the tale.

    The strawberries sound delicious and I’m going to try them soon. It seems a good way to use up my balsamic vinegar which I hardly ever use.

    Look after yourself – PLEASE! Love, Nanny Joan

    • Uncle Andy November 9, 2014 at 11:57 AM #

      REALLY, Mom? “Where did such a stubborn streak come from?”

  4. dadAA July 17, 2014 at 11:27 AM #

    What can I say?

    You shouldn’t buy strawberries in flats?

    Also makes good soup: old tubers?

    Best thing about a rhino bike: comes with a horn?

    How about: SO PROUD!
    We’ll leave it at that.

    • Uncle Andy November 9, 2014 at 11:47 AM #

      Y’kinda outdid yerself there with the puns, bro. Guess it runs in the family, though: being of a politically incorrect bent, at first glance I thought the title was “Quick Islamic Strawberries.”