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Showcase the Best of This Spring’s Strawberries

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Strawberries macerated in sugar and Port.

Strawberries macerated in sugar and Port.

I don’t trust too many strawberry recipes. Some pastry chefs would have you torture the poor berries until they’re no longer recognizable, while others would have you mask their flavor by drowning them in balsamic vinegar and black pepper.

The simpler, the better. That’s essential. Plus, you want to let the ingredients support the strawberries, don’t dominate them.

Here’s an easy dessert from Jean Anderson’s “The Food of Portugal” that you can make using the finest and freshest berries showcased to their maximum potential.

Strawberries in Port (Morangos em Porto)

3 pints ripe strawberries, washed, hulled and halved (if berries are very large, slice about 1/4-inch thick)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup ruby Port or fine vintage Port
4 to 5 mint sprigs

Place the strawberries in a large bowl (preferably nonmetallic), add the sugar and Port, and toss lightly. Cover and macerate in the refrigerator 2 to 3 hours. To serve, spoon berries into stemmed goblets and sprig with mint.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

From “The Food of Portugal” by Jean Anderson

Strawberries closeup

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