In honor of late spring berries and Heidi's post from the Greenmarket today, here are two recipes for mascerated strawberries that employ balsamic vinegar to different effects. The first offers a pungency that cuts nicely through ice cream’s sweet cream. The second has a similar effect but does the job a little more cloyingly with the addition of honey. Both would be well-served by some chopped mint or basil and ice cream, of course. Macerated Berries with Balsamic Vinegar 1 quart strawberries, washed and sliced Sugar Balsamic vinegar Chopped mint or basil, if desired Sprinkle berries with a sufficient amount of balsamic vinegar and sugar. Let stand for 20 minutes or more. Stir in herbs and serve atop vanilla ice cream. Macerated Berries with Reduced Balsamic Vinegar 1 quart strawberries, washed and sliced 1/3 - 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 1/2 - 1 tablespoon honey Chopped mint or basil, if desired Simmer vinegar over medium-low heat until reduced by half. At this point it should be thickened a bit and a little sticky. Remove from heat and stir in honey. Pour over berries and let sit for approximately 10 minutes. Stir in herbs and serve atop vanilla ice cream.