I ate roasted strawberries for the first time a few weekends ago at a new restaurant in our neighborhood called Bussaco. Dinner was good, but it was a dessert that really got me: a milky vanilla-bean infused panna cotta topped with roasted strawberries. When roasted, the berries took on a deeper flavor and color, and a bright, rosy sauce I literally licked up with my fingers. I've always thought of strawberries as purely summer fruit, but when roasted they're so fall. Of course I had to try to make them at home the night after our dinner out. While vanilla-based desserts really allow the berries to shine (rice pudding or ice cream would be heavenly) they were also very tasty with chocolate pudding.
(Serves about 4 people)
2 pints fresh strawberries, washed and de-stemmed
1/4 cup light brown sugar
Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Place the berries on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the sugar, tossing them to coat. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the berries are soft and slightly shriveled. Reserve the juice. Try not to eat it all with a spoon.