These oven roasted strawberries or slow roasted strawberries with a splash of balsamic and maple syrup are a late spring loveliness that’s perfect for when you get slightly undderripe or overripe berries or simply want to try a little something different.
How many times has your heart sunk a little over not-quite-right strawberries? Maybe it was after not being able to resist woefully unripe strawberries at the market, the newfound impostors ruby red outside yet white and deplorably insipid inside. Or perhaps you left perfectly ripe berries on the counter a day or three too long. Or maybe you simply lost your senses and bought too many brilliantly, lip-smackingly, perfectly ripe berries at the height of the season. Whatever your strawberry sadness, your solution is found in these roasted strawberries, which are sticky and just sweet enough with an intense, concentrated berry essence. Originally published May 17, 2011.
–Renee Schettler Rossi
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 50 M
- Makes about 1/2 cup
- 8 ounces small to medium strawberries, hulled
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 1 tablespoon port (tawny or ruby, either will work their magic)
- A few drops balsamic vinegar
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
- 2. Use a rimmed baking sheet or large baking dish for this recipe—you don’t want the juices running off the sheet onto the floor of your oven. Line it with parchment paper.
- 3. Cut each strawberry in half or, if your strawberries are on the large side, cut them into quarters or sixths. In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, olive oil, and salt. Add the berries and toss very gently to coat. Arrange the strawberries in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- 4. Roast just long enough for the juices to thicken, but not long enough for the juices to burn, 20 to 40 minutes or so, depending on the size. Watch the edges of the pan in particular.
- 5. Scrape the still-warm roasted strawberries and juices from the pan into a bowl. Stir in the port and balsamic vinegar. Use immediately or let cool and refrigerate for up to several days.
Recipe Testers Reviews
Wow! This recipe was wonderfully tasty. I was so intrigued by the idea of roasting strawberries, and even more intrigued with the variety of flavors added to them. The strawberries retained their natural sweetness, but the depth of flavors from the other ingredients was amazing—the sweetness of the maple syrup, the earthiness of the olive oil, and the deep richness of the port really were a great combo. I’ve stewed berries before with a little balsamic vinegar, but I liked the use of the balsamic in this recipe as the finishing touch. The only comment I have about the recipe itself is that I roasted the berries at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, and then reduced the heat to 325 degrees for the remaining 20 minutes. I did this because I could see the sauce getting a little too dark in the oven. This method prevented the sauce from burning. These roasted strawberries would be great on crostini with ricotta cheese—or even in a crepe.
This recipe provides wonderful and ample proof that desserts don’t have to be either time-consuming or difficult. It produces a dish that’s complexly flavored and compulsively delicious—it’s to regular strawberries what surround sound is to a Walkman. Roasting amplifies and deepens the natural sweetness of the berries, while the port gives it an edge. The balsamic vinegar lends a mysterious, almost savory note. The maple syrup is present but very mellow—one of this recipe’s greatest attributes is its balance of ingredients. Everything works so harmoniously that, rather than pairing it with ice cream or a piece of bread, you’ll be tempted to just eat the berries on their own, out of a bowl. Or at least that’s what I did—and yes, I licked the bowl.
One note about cooking times: Check the berries every 10 minutes or so. They go from being perfectly roasted to being incinerated in no time flat, as I learned the hard way. Forty minutes is a generous estimate—I needed no more than a half-hour. I cannot stress enough the importance of checking them frequently. Also, the recipe yielded almost 1 cup, so slightly more than the amount given.
Fresh from the oven, these berries were warm and juicy—ready for a little dousing of port and balsamic. I used the best quality of each since, ultimately, they’d provide the most impact to the senses. Strawberries aren’t quite in season, so mine weren’t as small and sweet as I’d have liked, but they worked just fine for this recipe. I served this delicious compote over Greek yogurt, and even sprinkled it with Maldon salt. What a treat! A very upscale version of strawberry preserves. My favorite part though was scraping the maple-y remains off of the Silpat and eating it straight like candy.
I wasn’t going to make this recipe. Nope. I bought strawberries for another use, but when it turned out that I didn’t need them, well, the tables turned. And I’m thrilled! Even out-of-season strawberries benefit from Heidi Swanson’s genius idea of tossing strawberries with maple syrup, roasting, and then dousing with port and balsamic vinegar. I thought I’d serve them over a stack of pancakes, or with some cream biscuits, but before I knew it, I’d eaten the entire batch right out of the bowl. Because there will be a next time, I’ll crack a bit of pepper on top, or maybe toss with a few fresh herbs.
These were fantastic on Greek yogurt, ice cream, and pound cake with a bit of sweetened mascarpone. I thought the maple syrup was an odd choice (I can see agave working, as well) but it didn’t overpower the strawberry. The port and balsamic added depth. Heidi can do no wrong!
Back when I was just a baby foodie, 101 Cookbooks was the first blog I fell in love with. Heidi Swanson has such a natural and simple approach to cooking that I was immediately drawn to her. Don’t even get me started about her eye for food photography—every shot she takes could be in a magazine in addition to her fabulous cookbooks. Naturally, anything she does is pretty fantastic, so this recipe is everything you’d expect. It’s well-written, concise, and tastes every bit as she describes in the recipe. The only thing I’d change in this recipe is to triple it next time. This is the most perfect topping for ice cream, yogurt, toast, or even eaten by the heaping spoonful. Just be sure to keep an eye on your berries so the juices don’t burn.
At first, I thought I might try adding a little more maple syrup because the strawberries were somewhat tart. I’m so glad I didn’t! The combination of the syrup and the roasting made the berries seem almost too sweet, but the addition of the vinegar and port lend a heavenly, savory punch. It’s not only great on crepes, biscuits and bread, but ice cream, too. I think this will appear on our Easter dinner menu as a version of strawberry shortcake. When I’m in an experimental mode, I may try to integrate this into some kind of sauce to serve with chicken or pork roast. I’ll also try this with other berries and fruit.
The recipe is very quick and easy to put together. There was a little too much oil for our tastes, and I believe you could reduce the oil to 2 teaspoons and not end up with that ring of oil around the side of the dish. This was very good on biscuits, and makes a great topping for waffles. We also spooned some over angel food cake and over ice cream. I’ll be making this over and over again.
This is the sort of recipe that proves fantastic results don’t have to be complicated. I made this to take to a brunch and had a hunch it would be good, so I quadrupled it. I’m glad I did! It wasn’t a huge crowd, but everyone went back for seconds. I wouldn’t change a thing to the way the recipe was written, except that I can’t imagine ever making a single batch. The flavors were fantastic—they all blended so perfectly. It really seems like a no-brainer putting all of these things together. I served the berries with homemade biscuits using a recipe from this site.
This is a super simple recipe that provides a tasty, not-too-sweet treat. I doubled the recipe and found that it did double very easily. My only quibble is that it took me four stores to find port wine.
Roasting strawberries caught me off guard. The combination of the salt, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup is ridiculously good. I assure you, once you have these, you may not wish to share. The result is fantastic.