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This strawberry panna cotta with balsamic vinegar is an easy but gourmet spring dessert. With dairy-free and paleo-friendly options, more people can enjoy it!
Are you thrown off by the idea of vinegar in a dessert? Don’t go away yet–let me explain. First of all, you won’t actually taste the balsamic vinegar in this strawberry panna cotta unless you decide to drizzle extra on top to serve. Second, balsamic pairs really well with strawberries, enhancing their flavor and sweetness without asserting its own taste in any noticeable way.
Years ago when I was living in Houston, I threw one of my first dinner parties. I think everything I made that night was from the first cookbook I ever bought myself, Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics. A friend of a friend brought vanilla ice cream for dessert, along with a bottle of chocolate balsamic vinegar. He explained that he’d been to a vinegar tasting, and had learned about how balsamic can enhance desserts. Although skeptical, I drizzled a bit of the heady syrup onto my ice cream, and was totally blown away. The tang of the vinegar made all the other flavors in the dessert pop in the best possible way. I was sold.