Makes about one cup
There are few more enticing treats of the early summer than strawberries. Locally grown ones, such as the berries from Stacy Family Farm, have a much better flavor and texture than the crunchy, pulpy ones trucked in from Florida and California. Roasting strawberries intensifies their flavors and creates a nice, gooey syrup—it’s almost like making a compote in the oven. I like this best over plain Greek yogurt.
One pound (about a pint) strawberries, hulled
2-3 tablespoons turbinado or granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, optional
Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
If the strawberries are big honking ones, you may want to cut them in half, but you don’t have to. Put them in a medium-sized shallow baking dish, preferably non-reactive (ceramic, enameled, or Pyrex are good choices). Add the sugar. If you’re using the vanilla bean, cut it in half vertically with a sharp knife and scrape out the seeds; add the seeds and the scraped-out vanilla bean hull to the berries. Toss to combine.
Place the dish, uncovered, in the oven and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring midway though if you remember. The berries will collapse and lots of juice will rapidly bubble all around them.
Cool until room temperature; everything will thicken and become jammy as it cools. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to five days. Leave the vanilla bean hull in there so that the flavors both deepen and mellow as it all sits.