By Vilda Gonzalez

Strawberries are hope at the end of the tunnel; their vibrant, juicy body provides a burst of edible sunshine after the dark winter months. If you come across a perfect strawberry - crimson red and dripping with sweetness - leave it unadulterated and eat as is. If, however, your strawberries aren’t quite living up to the fullness of their potential (read: too tart, underripe, or just a bit lackluster), lean on this technique of slow roasting the berries in a puddle of mouth puckering, maple sweetened citrus juice. A small splash of red wine vinegar, a grind of black pepper, and a pinch of salt help to coax out a full dimension of flavor. Once fully roasted, the strawberries will melt in your mouth upon contact, and all of the juices will have thickened into a spoonable syrup. Enjoy as you would a good compote; with yogurt and granola, adorning pancakes, or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 



2 pounds (900 grams) hulled strawberries, halved if particularly large 

¼ cup (36 grams) maple syrup 

¼ cup (50 grams) orange juice, preferably from a blood orange 

1 generous teaspoon orange zest, from 1 medium orange 

2 tablespoons (16 grams) lemon juice, preferably from a meyer lemon 

½ teaspoon (2 grams) red wine vinegar 

A couple grinds of black pepper 

A small pinch of salt 

A pinch of fennel pollen to serve, optional



Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. 

Add the hulled strawberries to a mixing bowl. Add the maple syrup, orange juice and zest, lemon juice, and red wine vinegar to the bowl. Toss to coat the strawberries in the juices. Season with a couple grinds of black pepper and a pinch of salt. 

Add the strawberries and all of the liquid to a roasting pan, and transfer it to the oven. Roast for about 45 minutes, until the strawberries are soft like little pillows and the juices in the pan have thickened to a spoonable syrup. Remove from the oven and dust with a pinch of fennel pollen. 

Eat immediately if you’d like it served warm. Otherwise, store the roasted compote in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days - simply bring it back to room temperature to serve. 

Enjoy on a fat stack of pancakes with whipped cream, with your yogurt and granola in the mornings, on a piece of toast lathered with nut butter, or with honey sweetened creme fraiche and a warm biscuit.