Strawberry-Balsamic Toasts

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One of the brightest parts of spring is strawberry season. We have a large patch of strawberries in the garden, and we’ve been making pies, cakes and all manner of tasty, fresh desserts. But what about something a little more savory?  DH and I set out to make something with strawberries besides sweets. We came up with these Strawberry-Balsamic Toasts. They’re an elegant appetizer and have a sophisticated, uptown flavor. We hope you will enjoy them as much as we did!

Strawberry-Balsamic Toasts

2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup sugar (we used raw sugar)

1 Tbl. olive oil

3 thick slices crusty bread, quartered

1 Tbl. fresh basil leaves, chiffonade-cut

2 tsp. ground white pepper

salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 375.

Over low heat, combine vinegar, sugar and strawberries in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir frequently and cook for 25 to 40 minutes, until liquid reduces by half and consistency is thick, like syrup.

Meanwhile, brush quartered bread with olive oil and toast in oven while vinegar reduces. Toast bread for 10 to 12 minutes, until crispy and lightly browned. Remove from oven.

When vinegar and strawberries have reduced, spoon evenly over toasted bread. Sprinkle with white pepper and salt, and top with basil chiffonade.

Serve warm.

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