March 30, 2016 18

Peppered Balsamic Strawberry Pots + scenes from modena!

Peppered Balsamic Strawberry Pots | @withfoodandlove

Spring! It’s happening folks. And these peppered balsamic strawberry pots are too. Here in St. Louis strawberries aren’t in season quite yet, but I’ve been vibing on the organic ones from Cali that are flooding my grocery stores. I’m doing it, it’s early still, but my heart and soul crave it. And, because I’m an adult, and because I’m doing the best I can. And because sometimes a girl needs a berry in March. These peppered balsamic strawberry pots are vegan and naturally gluten-free featuring Silk’s vanilla dairy-free yogurt alternative. It’s a soy-based food, which I consume very little of but feel good about this choice as it’s non-GMO, and carrageenan-free.

Balsamic was made for strawberries. And pepper was made for sweet balsamic strawberry pots. If pepper in sweet stuff sounds a little out of the box for you, I totally get it. Hear me out, just a little twist goes a long way – adding the right amount of earthiness to mellow out the strawberry’s sweet notes. For more sweet/pepper combo inspiration, I made this cocktail last fall.

Peppered balsamic strawberry pots are easy enough for weekday breakfasts, impressive enough for fancy/chill weekend brunches, and satisfyingly delicious for late afternoon snacks and/or dessert. Additionally this macerated balsamic strawberry mixture would be a fantastic shortcake topping this summer. Or when combined with a few fresh herbs the right bruschetta mix.

Last weekend Chris and I got down to business with some outdoor spring cleaning. Lots of back-breaking weeding, fresh mulch spreading, leaf raking and garden prep in the warm 60 degree sunshine. Green leaves are on the trees, and my backyard is already back to its wild jungle self. It feels like it sprouted up overnight. I guess it kinda did. Last year I didn’t get my garden beds built and planted until the end of May. So this year I’m turning my full attention to the spring garden. During this season of rebirth I’ve been making an honest effort to cut down on plastic consumption, while repurposing plastic bags and containers whenever possible. Silk’s packaging {cartons, containers, etc.} make great little seedling starters.

This post is sponsored by Silk. Thanks for supporting the brands that make it possible to bring you free, quality content each week. For updates, discounts, offers and more sign-up for Silk’s newsletter here.

Macerated Balsamic Strawberries | @withfoodandlovePeppered Balsamic Strawberry Pots | @withfoodandlovePeppered Balsamic Strawberry Pots | @withfoodandlove

When traveling to Europe in the past we’ve had an insatiable desire to see and go and do and see more until we’re left downright exhausted. Booking ourselves thin visiting multiple cities by train in a short amount of time because we wanted to see it all. This time though we wanted to root ourselves in one place, Bologna and spend all of our time with our family. But because we’re restless crazy people and just can’t help ourselves at all, we decided to at the very least take a day trip to Modena. A vibrant city nearby that’s rich with history and the birthplace of balsamic vinegar.

Modena is charming. Even through the rain and gloom we experienced that day. Its saturated colors ricocheted off the dark grey sky. Chaperoned by our cousins we toured around the city. At my request we starting at Acetaia Bompana touring and tasting all things balsamic.

Authentic balsamic vinegar is aged for decades in barrels producing a much different product than the one we buy in the states. It’s rich and thick. Often sweet, with some variants even molasses-like. Made to accompany both savory and sweet dishes. I am excited by it, and bought all the balsamic my budget and carry-on restrictions would allow. Which wasn’t nearly enough.

Before we left Modena and headed for the Ferrari factory museum {not at my request, but when in Rome} we had a quintessential and typical Emilia Romangna late lunch. A rustic, many course meal complete with plenty of lambrusco and too much espresso. My heart was full and my belly was satisfied.

Modena, Italy | @withfoodandloveModena, Italy | @withfoodandloveModena, Italy | @withfoodandloveModena, Italy | @withfoodandloveModena, Italy | @withfoodandloveModena, Italy | @withfoodandloveModena, Italy | @withfoodandloveModena, Italy | @withfoodandloveModena, Italy | @withfoodandloveModena, Italy | @withfoodandlove

Peppered Balsamic Strawberry Pots
prep time
make time
total time
The strawberries are ready to go after 5 minutes, but the longer they sit marinating the more flavorful they become. Feel free to prepare the strawberries the day or night before using. I've used Silk's non-dairy yogurt alternative here, but you could use whichever yogurt {dairy or non-dairy alike} you prefer.
Makes: 4
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ⅛ teaspoon pink or sea salt
  • 2 cups vanilla or plain yogurt
  • 1 cup strawberries, diced small
  • ¼ cup buckwheat groats
  • black pepper, to taste
  1. In a small bowl whisk together the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and salt. Toss in the strawberries and stir until well combined. Allow the strawberries to sit for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Divide yogurt into 4 servings. Top with equal amounts of strawberries, buckwheat groats and twist of pepper. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.

This post is sponsored by Silk; all opinions are my own.

18 Responses to "Peppered Balsamic Strawberry Pots + scenes from modena!"

  1. Reply


    March 30, 2016 at 2:46 PM

    Such gorgeous photos! I’m not an huge soy person either recently, but since I’ve been cutting down on tofu, I can definitely make some room for these pots- so excited for strawberries to come into season where I live :)

    • Reply


      April 6, 2016 at 2:34 PM

      Thank you Medha! And feel free to pour this balsamic strawberry mixture over whatever yogurt you prefer. It is super versatile.

  2. Reply


    March 31, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    love these shots, sherrie! especially that salmon and yellow colored building, i’m such a sucker for those european shutters that seem to adorn every building over there! these pots are beautiful, and those strawberry and balsamic flavors must me so good with some creamy yogurt!

    • Reply


      April 6, 2016 at 2:34 PM

      Me too, and Modena is full of them, xx.

  3. Reply


    March 31, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    little strawberry pots of joy right here, girl! i can only imagine what balsamic that has been aged for decades tastes like. so cool that you were able to experience that, and i would have carried a hefty load of it home too! this sounds similar to when i tasted that 100% chocolate that we ground ourselves in belize, so many flavor nuances.

    the scenes from Modena capture my eye like no other. you can feel the soul and vibe of the city. someone take me there, soon. i am a sucker for lambrusco and espresso, so i’ll take the trip anytime. :) xo

    • Reply


      April 6, 2016 at 2:36 PM

      YES – it’s probably something exactly like that. Like something you’ve never tasted before but thought you have.

  4. Reply

    Emma Galloway

    March 31, 2016 at 3:43 PM

    These look and sound amazing Sherrie! I don’t consume soy these days, unless it’s GMO-free, so this yogurt sounds great and looks so lovely and creamy. I wish we had better non-dairy yogurt options here in NZ. (Coconut yogurt seems to be everywhere but I’m not a fan at all).
    I love all of your photos and would SO love to visit Italy some day xx

    • Reply


      April 6, 2016 at 2:35 PM

      Also totally not a fan of coconut yogurt! I cannot find a good one, sigh. And thank you Emma, all my love, xx!

  5. Reply

    Amy | The Whole Food Rainbow

    April 3, 2016 at 12:59 PM

    Hey Sherrie! I just loving your Italy photos so much, they’re so beautiful. You’ve really brought Modena alive for me. And those strawberries look fab. I’ve never tried them with balsamic, I must xx

    • Reply


      April 6, 2016 at 2:36 PM

      Oh you must, MUST! And, the pepper too ;)

  6. Reply

    Eden Passante

    April 9, 2016 at 2:38 PM

    This sounds amazing! I love strawberries and balsamic together! So good!

    • Reply


      April 26, 2016 at 3:31 PM

      The very best combination! :)

  7. Reply


    April 22, 2016 at 10:28 PM

    I was at the same balsamic place in Modena. I had a lovely meal there!

    • Reply


      April 26, 2016 at 3:30 PM

      We had reservations at another place, but I would have loved to had stayed and eaten there as well. It was pretty magical, wasn’t it?

  8. Reply


    April 26, 2016 at 2:57 PM

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog, it’s really fabulous! Wierd coincidence that I happened onto This post – I’m from Columbia Mo and I live in a small town near Modena and we even have our own personal balsamic production (as tradition dictates)!

    • Reply


      April 26, 2016 at 3:32 PM

      Really? What a crazy small world it is! :)

  9. Reply


    August 24, 2016 at 2:50 AM

    I have just stumbled across this recipe of yours via Pinterest as I look for inspirational recipes for a new dinner party feature I’m looking into for my Insta/blog/website. I have just come back from a trip to Europe and we too visited Bologna – so your story above the recipe really appealed to me. I absolutely fell in love with that city. I love the recipe as strawberries and balsamic are one of my favourite combinations and will reference you if it is a part of a dinner party inspiration set (which it totally will be soon!). Beautiful work!

    • Reply


      August 24, 2016 at 4:09 PM

      Thanks for your sweet words Carly. I’m happy to lend some inspiration, xx.

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With Food + Love © 2016 | All photos + words belong to Sherrie Castellano -- they cannot be used or distributed without permission.