Fresh, sweet, strawberries marinated in balsamic vinegar have been served as a refreshing dessert since Renaissance times, having been a favorite in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, for years(and years). Served with an easy, home-made frozen vanilla cream custard, this unlikely combo makes a great summer dessert. *Warning: Must like balsamic vinegar.
Place the strawberries in a glass bowl. Heat the balsamic vinegar, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Pour the balsamic sauce over the strawberries, add the mint leaves and gently toss. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Serve with the vanilla gelato and garnish with fresh mint sprigs.
Frozen Vanilla Cream Custard
Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form (about 3-6 minutes). Add the vanilla and pinch of salt, and incorporate well. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled egg mixture and freeze for at least 4 hours.