Thick, Sweet Balsamic-Glazed Oranges and Berries

Topics: Recipes, Refuel

berries with balsamicTreasured balsamic vinegar–aged like great wine in Modena, Italy–is combined with fresh berries in a classic Northern Italian dessert. Real aged balsamic is rare and expensive, but we can offer a taste of what it’s like. Here, I’ve added a dusting of fresh nutmeg and a little sugar to give depth of flavor–they transform ordinary sliced fruit into an easy, simple and elegant dessert.
Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  3 minutes
Servings  4
Serving Size:

Ingredients:

4 navel oranges
4 cups sliced hulled strawberries
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon juniper berries, crushed (optional)
¼ teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
Pomegranate seeds (optional)

Directions:

Peel oranges and cut crosswise into ¼-inch thick slices. Arrange on four serving plates. Arrange strawberries over the orange slices. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, brown sugar and, if desired, juniper berries. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Strain out juniper berries if using. Drizzle mixture over fruit; top with nutmeg. Garnish with pomegranate seeds, if desired.

Tips:

The balsamic glaze thickens as it sits and also stays warm. Make sure to strain out the juniper berries if you are using. Their aroma lasts just long enough to perfume the sauce, deepening its flavor, but these berries are too strong to eat by themselves. The optional pomegranate seeds provide crunch and visual delight here–when they are in season, in the fall, make sure to buy a whole pomegranate, just for the wonder of those ruby nuggets of tartness and crunch, and to make this dish.

Substitutions:

If you can find them, use blood oranges–their flesh and juice are tomato-red, but orange sweet.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories:  194.28 g
Fat Calories: 7.79 g
Total Fat:  0.87 g
Sat. Fat:  0.10 g
Cholesterol:  0.00 mg
Sodium:  10.75 mg
Total Carbohydrate:  48.05 g
Fiber:  7.92 g
Sugars:  39.98 g
Protein:  2.72 g
Vitamin A:  43.21 RE
Vitamin C:  184.14 mg
Calcium:  111.41 mg
Iron:  1.15 mg