Strawberries stand in for tomatoes in an early summer take on the classic Caprese combination.
- FOR THE BALSAMIC STRAWBERRY CONSERVE
- 2 c. Strawberries, stems removed, halved if using large berries
- 2 Tbsp. Sugar
- 1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
- ⅛ tsp. Kosher Salt
- peel of ½ Lemon
- FOR THE CROSTINI
- 12½ in slices Baguette
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 12-24 Basil Leaves
- 1 ball Fresh Mozzarella, cut in 12 slices
- Combine strawberries with sugar, vinegar, salt, and lemon peel in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the berries are soft and suspended in a thick, sweet syrup, about 30 minutes. Remove lemon peel and allow the cool slightly. The mixture will thicken as it cools.
- Make crostini. Heat about 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Place the bread in the skillet and allow to toast and become golden. Flip and toast the other side. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
- Assemble. Top each crostini with 1 large or several small basil leaves. Cover with a slice of Mozzarella. Drizzle the cheese with a little olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Top with a couple of berries and their juices and serve. You won’t miss the tomatoes a bit!
You will likely have more of the strawberry conserve than you need for 12 crostini. You could, of course, just make more crostini or you could add it to a prosciutto and brie sandwich, dollop them on a warm chèvre salad, or spoon them over ice cream.