3 Bs: Berries, Basil & Balsamic

Foodie Friday

May 13, 2011 by

When I lived in Boston Saturday meant a trip to Haymarket Square for fresh veggies, fruit, cheese and a visit to my favorite fishmonger.  Don’t you love that word: “fishmonger?” Haymarket Square was farmer’s markets before farmer’s markets were cool.

I tried to time my shopping to just before the close of business when the vendors would compete with each other on the lowest prices. “Best tomatoes here!” “You don’t want his .. mine is fresher and cheaper!” It was like being in the middle of a food circus complete with characters and clowns. And let me tell you Gf, some of the best people watching wasn’t the vendors but the shoppers!

While there are farmer’s markets where I call home now, Atlanta, including Sweet Auburn Curb Market, one of my favorite things to do on the weekends is a visit to the Buford Highway Farmer’s Market.  It’s not an outdoor “real” farmer’s market but more of a huge diverse ethnic grocery store.

For me, it’s like taking a trip to far-away lands from Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, West Africa, Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and the newest addition Eastern Europe. Although even on the nicest weekend day, it can be packed with families grocery shopping, it’s the most fun because of the samples. Yum!  Oh did I mention the produce and fish are way fresher and cheaper than in the regular stores?

Last week I brought home a huge box of sweet, fresh strawberries. Sometimes I like combing sweet and sharper tastes. One of my favorite ingredients is balsamic vinegar and another is basil. Have you ever thought of using them both as part of dessert?  I know! In celebration of Women’s Healthcare Week and just because it’s yummy ..  Try this. I call this recipe the 3 Bs: Berries, Basil and Balsamic.

3 Bs: Berries, Basil & Balsamic


¼ cup sugar

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1-3 leaves chiffonade basil per serving (more if you like basil less if not so much)

1 chaffonade mint leaf per serving (adds a teeny bit of coolness against the basil and vinegar)

¼ t vanilla



Whipped cream (Heavy cream, sugar and vanilla whip to thick)


Add sugar and balsamic vinegar to a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced to a lovely syrup. 2-4 minutes


Add a grind or two of pepper

Add the vanilla

Pour over hulled berries

Add your fresh basil & mint leaves

Top w/ whipped cream, ice cream or would be yummy over pound cake too.  (One has to be a little bad.)Enjoy!

Just for fun I tweeted it out! Now I ask you .. how hard can a recipe be to make if it’s only 140 charaters?

Note: For our Mother’s Day Marathon posts Tani shared her Strawberry Short-cake recipe. Check it out!

Graphic credit: Inn Cuisine

About the Author

Toby Bloomberg Has Written 30 Articles For Us!

Toby is Founder/President of Atlanta-based strategy and social media consultancy, Bloomberg Marketing/Diva Marketing and acknowledged by Forbes as one of the country’s most foremost bloggers. She is a widely recognized for her expertise in combining social media with traditional marketing values (strategy, customer insights, segmentation, etc.) while maintaining the authenticity of digital conversations. Toby recently wrote the first business book based on (40) Twitter interviews with marketing pros. Social Media Marketing GPS has been downloaded over 10,000 times by people all the world.
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  1. Tani

    Yum! Reminds me of visiting the Haymarket in the 70s – when Faneuil Hall was a rundown warehouse district!

  2. Wow, your site is wonderful. I’ll have to come back and spend more time. It’s funny that I came across this strawberry recipe since I work for the strawberry industry! See you around!

  3. Serena Kovalosky

    I used to live the the Boston area also, and I LOVED Haymarket Square! You’re so right about the vendors hawking their last tomatoes at the end of the day and it looked like a bomb had gone off with crates and boxes and produce all over the grounds. It was exhilarating and I loved it.

    I sought out farmers markets when I moved to Montreal – Jean-Talon was the closest thing to Haymarket, and there was the Atwater Market which was much more composed.

    Living in rural NY, I often go directly to the farmers for my produce and there are small markets around as well. Its always a great experience – better for the soul than going to the supermarket!

    – SerenaK

    • Serena –

      Wouldn’t it be fun to go on a tour of Farmer’s Markets all over the world? Each is so unique and has its own personality. Thinking a book or maybe the Food Network will sponsor us 😉

  4. Rebecca – Thanks. It’s a refreshing dessert on a hot summer day. Looking forward to some of your Balsamic recipes.

  5. Rebecca Crichton

    Love this recipe. Basalmic is one of my favorite ingredients. Can’t wait for the sun to come out in Seattle and local strawberries show up at the market.

  6. Tweeted recipe & farmers markets .. happy weekend to y’all http://ow.ly/4Uam9 frm my post on all the single girlfriends. enjoy! #foodies

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