Sunday, June 30, 2013

Dessert Picnic Buffet with Local Treats

It was such a gorgeous day yesterday that Dan and I invited my parents over for a quick impromptu picnic.  I made some grilled chicken sandwiches and a variety of salads, but in my opinion, the dessert stole the show.

Having tons of leftovers from my recent Sweet Escape retreat, I was eager to make use of of them during dessert, including Potlicker Kitchen's sweet onion jam and carrot cake jam, Blaze balsamic glaze, as well as a horchata-based liqueur called RumChata.

Along with these goodies, I had to make something homemade as well and decided to create a simple dish of macerated strawberries in the Blaze balsamic glaze.  Growing some fresh basil on my windowsill I mixed this in as well for a bit of earthy, fresh flavor.  The spread was gorgeous and we all enjoyed pairing these ingredients together and creating an infinite amount of combinations.

Here's the simple recipe for the macerated strawberries.

Balsamic Macerated Strawberries

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 lb of fresh strawberries, stems removed and then cut into quarters (try to use good quality strawberries such as organic ones that aren't so large)
1 1/2 tbsp of balsamic vinaigrette or Blaze
1 tbsp of sugar (Only if desired.  I ommitted this.)

2 sprigs of fresh basil, julienned

Combine strawberries with the balsamic about a half hour before you're about to serve them.  If you let them stand out too long, they'll start to break down and take on a mushy texture.  

Combine with the julienned basil until well incorporated and serve with something like a Petit Beurre cookie, a sweet brioche bun, or the ever-so-delicious Labriola pretzel bun.

Knock 'em back with a shot of sweet, milky RumChata.  Happy picnic!

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