I know what you’re thinking: why on earth would anyone ever want to roast a strawberry? Strawberries are pretty amazing as is, why roast them?
Well, yes. I agree with you. Strawberries are amazing – especially when they’re perfectly in season and you can get huge, juicy British ones (or ones from wherever you’re from!). But there are a few reasons why you might want to roast strawberries:
1. Roasted strawberries are nice for a change. I absolutely adore strawberries, but I do get sick of foods quite quickly if I have them too often, so it’s always nice to vary things a bit.
2. Berries often don’t last for too long, even in the fridge. And I am terrible at using things up. If a last-minute invitation to a barbecue arises, or we decide to take a spontaneous weekend away in the sunshine, my strawberries end up looking pretty sad by the time I get home. Roasting them gives them a new lease of life, and saves them being wasted.
3. If you’re using strawberries that are out of season (i.e. a bit watery and tasteless), roasting helps to spruce them up a bit.
4. I love roasting things.
Have I convinced you to roast your strawberries yet? (and no, that was not supposed to sound like a euphemism, it’s all in your filthy, filthy mind)
How to make roasted strawberries
Step 1. Preheat the oven.
Yes, really. One step of this four-step process is just to turn your oven on. Turn it to 200°C (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F). Making roasted strawberries is not tricky.
Step 2. Cut up your strawberries.
Trim the green tops off, and cut the strawberries into bitesize pieces. Remember they’ll shrink a little when they’re roasting, so don’t cut them too small. Just halving them is fine, or maybe cut them into quarters if they’re particularly big.
Step 3. Toss the strawberries in oil.
You only need a tiny, tiny bit – we don’t want greasy strawberries here (quite possibly the worst sounding thing ever). You only need just enough to stop them sticking to the baking tray – half a tablespoon or so will be plenty. Alternatively, you can lightly grease the tray instead.
I also like to add some balsamic vinegar. I know, it sounds bizarre to add vinegar to your strawberries, but the sharpness of the balsamic and the sweetness of the berries works perfectly together. A tablespoon or so of balsamic vinegar is enough – you can always add a little more once your strawberries have roasted.
Add everything to a bowl, and gently mix.
Step 4. Roast for 10 minutes.
It doesn’t take long to make roasted strawberries, only about 10 minutes. You want them to have softened up and caramelised a little, but you still want them to hold their shape. No mushy roasted strawberries please.
Next time I’ll show you how I served my roasted strawberries at the supper club I held last month, but you can eat them straight from the baking tray if you so desire. They’re hot, juicy and sweet (and no, that wasn’t another euphemism).
What do you reckon – have I convinced you to give roasted strawberries a go?