I have this problem with buying too many strawberries. It happens every year when strawberry season hits - I see them lined up so beautifully at the market, perfectly plump and glistening, and I can't resist buying them by the crateful. Unfortunately, my eyes are usually bigger than my stomach, and before I know it, I've got a half-eaten box of strawberries that's about to go south. Is this just me?
To assuage my berry-related guilt, I've been experimenting with the best ways to use them before they go bad - I found that freezing them for later use in smoothies is an uncomplicated solution, roasting them can make for an unexpected dessert when paired with vanilla ice cream, or making a simple jam with them can make you feel like the accomplished farm wife you've always dreamt of being (again, just me?). Or, if a dressed-up, sexy brunch dish is what you're after (and lets be real, that's what we're all after), you can simmer them slowly with butter, maple syrup, and a touch of balsamic vinegar, and pour them over some custardy French toast. It's basically like going to strawberry heaven.
For this recipe, I called upon the grocery-delivery angels at Milk & Eggs to bring the ingredients right to my door - including Bread Lounge's Walnut Loaf, a perfect petite rustic loaf that's chock full of walnuts and has a firm, chewy texture. If you use a dense loaf like this, be sure to give the slices ample time to soak up the egg mixture - you want to make sure the centers are nice and custardy!
French Toast with Balsamic Strawberry Sauce
For the French Toast:
1 loaf Bread Lounge Walnut Loaf (or similar small loaf of bread)
½ cup almond milk
¼ tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
1 tbsp butter or neutral oil
For the Balsamic Strawberry Sauce:
2 cups strawberries, sliced
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tbsp butter (or margarine if dairy-free)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Additional sliced strawberries
- Begin by preparing the strawberry sauce. In a medium skillet or saucepan, heat butter over medium-low heat until melted and bubbling. Add the 2 cups of sliced strawberries, and saute until softened, about two minutes. Add maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and salt, and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and simmer until strawberries have partially broken down and sauce has thickened. Remove from heat.
- Next, prepare the French toast. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, almond milk, and vanilla bean paste. Set aside.
- Slice the walnut loaf into one-inch-thick pieces. Slowly dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture, allowing some time for the mixture to soak into each slice (tip: I like to let each slice rest in the mixture for a minute or two, to ensure it soaks all the way into the bread).
- Heat the 1 tbsp butter or oil in a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Fry bread slices for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown and crisp on the edges.
- To serve, reheat the strawberry sauce if it has cooled. Top the French Toast with additional fresh sliced strawberries, a generous pour of the strawberry sauce, a sprinkle of powdered sugar, and a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!
Groceries for this post were kindly provided by Milk & Eggs, our favorite grocery delivery service! All opinions are our own.