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Strawberries with Black Pepper & Balsamic Dessert

Let’s make the most of strawberry season! This is a super simple and clean dessert that you can throw together in under 20 minutes and serve at the end of a summer meal or as a snack anytime of the day. Personally I love to eat this the next day after the strawberries have really had a chance to soak in the flavors.

When I first tried this combination of flavors I was skeptical! It seemed so odd but it’s amazing the way the black pepper enhances the sweetness & tartness of the strawberries. It’s like the salt makes watermelon better and chili powder makes mango sweeter. And you don’t really taste the pepper since you just use a tiny bit. I added the balsamic vinegar because, not only is it a classic combination, but it also enhances the sweetness of the berries along with the honey of course. The amounts I listed for the recipe are my guidelines but feel free to play with them according to your tastes. I’d love to hear your feedback and see your photos, as always!

Chef’s Notes-

1. My recipe states to prepare this at least 30 minutes to an hour before serving so that the berries can absorb the flavors. You can do it further in advance but of course the flavors will become more intense the longer you allow them to sit. The less time, the milder the flavors. It all depends upon what you enjoy. You do you!

2. This would also be delicious over shortcake. I have a recipe I was was working on for a clean eating shortcake that I will share as soon as I can. But I wanted to get this out to you while we’re still in the midst of strawberry season!

(PS- I haven’t been able to get back into the kitchen yet since my injury but I’m looking. forward to that day! It will be fun to share some newer summer meals and entrees as soon as I can. Thanks for being patient with me.)


* 1 quart (2 cups) fresh strawberries, sliced thick

* 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or to taste)

* 1-2 tablespoon granulated stevia or honey (to taste depending on the sweetness of the berries)

* A large pinch of freshly ground black pepper (a few turns of the grinder)

* A tiny pinch of sea salt (to taste)

* Can of coconut cream, refrigerated and whipped with a dash of vanilla, for serving

* Freshly grated lemon zest, for serving

* Fresh basil, sliced thin (chiffonade), for serving


1. Thirty minutes to an hour before serving, combine the strawberries, balsamic vinegar, stevia or honey, and pepper in a bowl. Set aside at room temperature.

2. Place a serving of the strawberries in a bowl with a scoop of whipped coconut cream on top and dust lightly with lemon zest & fresh basil.

📸: Lauren Kamienski

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