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First of the season strawberries are in our local Bay Area farmers markets.  Not only do they taste great, but they are so nutritional, as well – packed with Vitamin C, magnesium, Vitamin A, potassium and folate. 

One of my favorite springtime recipes combines these sweet strawberries with the tart taste of my favorite balsamic vinegar.  I add a little hint of spice by grinding black pepper over the top.  And to make it even better, I add a spoonful of creme fraiche just before serving.   

Ingredients
4 baskets fresh strawberries, washed, de-stemmed and cut in half
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I normally use 12-year-old vinegar in this recipe.)
1/4 c. sugar (or to taste)
1 c. crème fraiche
2 T. brown sugar
Black pepper in grinder

Mint for garnish (optional)

You will also need:
Large and medium mixing bowl
Aluminum foil
Mixing spoons
Carving knife
Festive dishes for serving

Instructions
Combine strawberry halves with balsamic vinegar and sugar. Toss to mix. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate.

Mix crème fraiche and brown sugar. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate.

Take berries out of refrigerator about fifteen minutes before serving. Stir well.

To serve, place strawberries into a festive glass or dish. Sprinkle with freshly-cracked black pepper (if desired). Drop a dollop of crème fraiche over the top. Add fresh mint for garnish.

Serves 8.

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