Strawberries with Balsamic-Basil Topping for Ice Cream

Strawberries in Basket

by Cat, July 11, 2018 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

I love to make my own ice cream, because I’m in control of the ingredients. Most commercial ice creams are so full of questionable additives that it’s disgusting. See all my ice cream articles and recipes. I’ve been making my own since the 1970s and it is so worth it. I usually eat it plain because most toppings contain sugar, so I was excited to see this recipe in my local daily paper, the Daily Inter Lake. It has a light sweetness from the berries and a savory sourness from the balsamic vinegar.

See also: 1.Dessert Sauces, Frostings & Fillings Menu; 2. Frozen Desserts Menu; 3. Cat’s ice cream articles and recipes

Strawberries with Balsamic-Basil Topping for Ice Cream

This recipe is adapted from one by Joe Gray, originally published in the Chicago Tribune (1); that article includes several other savory & fruity toppings worth checking out; I’d like to try the Blueberry Shrub and the Cherries in Mole Sauce.

For this recipe, it’s important to choose Organic strawberries, or better yet, ones you grew in your own Organic garden, because strawberries are the worst of all fruits and veggies for containing toxic pesticides & herbicides (see my article on The EssentiaList about the Environmental Working Group’s 2017 Clean vs Dirty Dozen).

This recipe makes about 2 cups.

Ingredients & Equipment

  • ¾ cup quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange zest
  • 2 cups hulled, chopped Organic strawberries
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 – 6 fresh basil leaves, cut into slivers
  • ice cream (for serving)
  • Equipment:
  • small saucepan
  • wooden spoon
  • pint Mason jar for storage


  1. Prep: Grate the zest of an orange.
  2. Hull and chop the berries and place in a bowl; set aside on the counter, covered to keep out fruit flies.
  3. Wash, rinse and drain the basil, then cut into slivers and set aside.
  4. Sauce: Pour the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan, and set over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Lower heat, so that vinegar gently boils, and cook until reduced to ¼ cup, and has thickened, but not as thick as a syrup – about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir zest into the thickened vinegar, then remove from heat.
  6. Allow the mixture to cool a few minutes – still warm, but not hot.
  7. Pour over the slightly cooled balsamic mixture over the berries and stir to coat them.
  8. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the basil. If not using right away, transfer to Mason jar, screw on the lid, and store in the fridge. It will keep up to a week in the fridge.
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature, over the ice cream. I think vanilla would be best, but salty caramel might be good, too.


Not yet tested



About Cat

See my 'About' page
This entry was posted in Berries, Leafy Veggie, Simmered, Spices, Vinegar and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.