Refreshing and ideal for summer, this vino cotto and strawberries with ice cream is a visually elegant dessert and is as graceful in appearance as it is fabulous, in taste!
Vino Cotto And Strawberries
You can serve vino cotto with a variety of cakes, desserts, ice cream and fruit and in particular strawberries. A rather popular way of serving fresh strawberries is macerating them in vino cotto or another liquid. This helps preserve them, draws the natural sweetness and makes a wonderful sweet treat!
What is Vino Cotto?
Vino cotto, which translates to "cooked wine" in Italian, is a traditional Italian syrup. It's made by cooking grape must (freshly crushed grape juice that includes the skins, seeds, and stems) until it becomes a thick, syrupy consistency. Vino Cotto is also known for its rich, sweet flavor with a hint of tartness, making it an excellent complement to various desserts, especially fresh fruits like strawberries. Vino Cotto adds depth and a touch of luxury to any dish it graces.
Macerated Strawberries in Vino Cotto
Maceration is a simple method (and culinary term) of soaking fruit in a liquid, either with sugar or another sweetener. This method enhances flavor, softens the fruit, and create a syrup-like consistency.
The Difference Between Macerated and Marinated
Macerated and Marinated, both terms used for treating food, but the process and the result is different.
Macerated is when fruit contains sugar and any liquid (in this case vino cotto) that's going to help bring out the sweetness in the fruit. You can also add a alcohol or a liqueur, entirely optional. When the fruit is soft and the liquid formed, the taste becomes very distinguished so to say. Serve macerated fruit with desserts, pastries, cakes and ice cream.
Marinating this is where we soak meat or fish in some sort of marination to tenderize and flavor the meat/fish. Marinating meat and fish requires herbs, spices and vinegar. These recipes are great examples of the marinating fish and meat process Traditional South African Pickled Fish and Marinated Chicken Breasts
"A combination of both is another texture to enjoy"
What You Will Need
- Strawberries: The star of the dish, strawberries provide a fresh, juicy, and slightly tart contrast to the sweet Vino Cotto and are also packed with vitamins and antioxidants.
- Vino Cotto: This syrup brings a unique sweetness and complexity to the dessert. Its rich flavor enhances the strawberries without overpowering them.
- Ice Cream: Serving this dish with ice cream, either store-bought or homemade, adds a creamy texture and a cool element, balancing the flavors beautifully.
How To Make Vino Cotto And Strawberries
- Wash the strawberries thoroughly and pat them dry. Then, cut them in half to expose their inner juiciness and make them easier to eat.
- Arrange the strawberry halves on a serving plate and generously drizzle them with Vino Cotto. The syrup will slightly macerate the strawberries, enhancing their flavor.
- Complete the dish by adding a scoop of your favorite ice cream. The cold, creamy texture of the ice cream pairs wonderfully with the syrup-coated strawberries.
- Selecting Strawberries: Choose ripe, bright red strawberries with a fragrant aroma for the best flavor. Avoid berries that are overly soft or have blemishes.
- Strawberry Preparation: Wash and thoroughly dry to prevent them from becoming soggy later.
- Drizzling Technique: Drizzle the Vino Cotto in a zigzag pattern over the strawberries for even distribution. This method ensures each strawberry gets an adequate amount of the syrup.
- Serving Temperature: Serve the strawberries at room temperature to maximize their flavor. Cold strawberries can mute the flavors of both the fruit and the Vino Cotto.
- Ice Cream Pairing: Vanilla ice cream is a classic choice, but feel free to experiment with flavors like chocolate or strawberry for a different taste experience.
- Portion Control: While it's tempting to use a generous amount of Vino Cotto, a light drizzle is often enough to complement the strawberries without overwhelming their natural taste.
- Substitute for Vino Cotto: If you don't have Vino Cotto, you can substitute it with balsamic glaze or a reduction of port wine mixed with a bit of honey.
Frequently Asked Questions On Vino Cotto
Is Vino Cotto A Condiment
- Vino cotto is definitely more than just a flavor enhancer. Based on different aspects like time and patience to create a balance of flavors, in itself makes vino cotto stand apart. Also the slow simmering and reduction of the grape must helping the sugar to caramalize and intensify make vino cotto so much more, than a condiment.
Is Vino Cotto the same as Balsamic Vinegar?
- No. Vino cotto is not the same as balsamic vinegar. Perhaps because of the thickness and the color but the taste and process of making it is also not the same. Vino cotto is made from grape must which is reduced juice of freshly crushed grapes.
- Balsamic Vinegar is made from fermented juice not reduced juice. The taste is more acidic and tart with notes of sweet while vino cotto is more caramalized, sweet, fruity and syrupy.
Here is an example (this whole recipe) of the difference in my vino cotto strawberry dessert with ice cream where you can add vino cotto as a "syrup" to this dessert. You could'nt do that with balsamic vinegar because of it's acidic tart taste. The caramalization of reduced juice allows vino cotto to act as a sweet addition rather than an acidic fermented vinegar.
Vino cotto is from grapes and the process starts before the grapes become wine.
Balsamic Vingear is a process made after the wine has fermented and then it's stored in wooden barrels to further develop the flavors.
How To Use Vino Cotto
You can add vino cotto to cakes, pastries and both sweet and savory dishes. Add it to sauce, meat dishes whether grilled or oven baked, very versatile.
Freezing Fresh Strawberries
If you have an abundance of strawberries, consider freezing them for later use. Wash, dry, and hull the strawberries, then place them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Freeze until solid and transfer to a freezer-safe container. They're perfect for smoothies or thawed for desserts.
Variations and Serving Suggestions
Add Fresh Herbs: Garnish with fresh mint or basil for an aromatic touch. You can also leave garnish out completely and use the green tips of the strawberries to garnish!
Citrus Zest: Sprinkle lemon or orange zest over the strawberries for a citrusy kick.
Cheese Pairing: Serve with a slice of creamy cheese like mascarpone or ricotta for a sophisticated twist.
Wine Pairing: Complement this dessert with a glass of dessert wine or Prosecco.
This is not a recipe that you can store in the refrigerator. Any leftover strawberries will be soft due to being soaked in vino cotto. In which case, you may as well make macerated strawberries in vino cotto and you can find the recipe in the recipe card below.
Try These Recipes
Recipes with Vino Cotto Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots Stovetop and Duck In Red Wine Sauce. For recipes with a summer vibe without vino cotto you may prefer Blueberry Cream Tart and my Charcuterie Fruit Platter
Vino Cotto And Strawberries
- 1 punnet of fresh strawberries washed & halved
- ice cream any
- vino cotto
For Macerated Strawberries
- 1 cup strawberries sliced
- ¼ cup sugar granulated
- fresh lemon juice optional
- Wash strawberries, removing the greens is completey optional, and cut in half or slice them.
- In a dessert bowl, add the ice cream, place a strawberry on top of the ice cream and drizzle with Vino Cotto. Serve immediately.
For Strawberries Macerated In Vino Cotto
- Wash, clean and slice the strawberries and add into a bowl.
- Add the sugar and gently combine. Leave in the fridge for a couple hours, overnight or 48 hours. The longer you leave them the softer they become and you get more syrup from them.
- A squeeze of fresh lemon is opional and small pinch of salt to help draw and brighten the flavors. About a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and an ⅛th or less of salt depeding on how many strawberring are being macerated.