Strawberries still abound, and in summer’s peak, beg to greet their garden mates. The red fruit teases out its favorite playmate, chocolate, which in turn invites balsamic to sophisticate the sauce. Your lips and eyes will coo over the sweet snap of the sugar peas, with their gorgeous green jackets and marbles.

In its simplicity, this dish is a timeless and elegant beauty – magic – inspired perhaps by a memory or moment in another lifetime. Every so often an idea comes to mind that I’m driven to create without immediate explanation. Don’t hesitate either; serve as a bite-sized amuse-bouche, a novel side dish, over a bed of greens or with a loaf of fresh bread to mop every last drop of sauce.

I made this on a second occasion – with fresh strawberries from Silver Queen Farm and peas and pea shoots from Shoshi’s garden – to share with dear friends at a porch dinner as the sparkle bugs danced in the garden. Neal’s love, Gyorgyi, brought a lovely Hungarian Tokaji wine to pair with a divine dinner, which included stuffed tomatoes and Sauteed Daylilies and Garlic Scapes.




Chocolate-Balsamic Strawberries & Sugar Snap Peas

Shuck the plump peas and keep the flat tender peas whole.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


  • Chocolate chips – 1/2 cup
  • Honey – 1/4 cup
  • Balsamic vinegar – 1/4
  • Butter – 1 tablespoon
  • Strawberries – 1 cup, freshly sliced
  • Sugar snap peas – 1/2 cup unshucked, flat
  • Peas – 1/2 cup
  • Garnish:
  • Sea salt – Coarse sea salt
  • Pea shoots and Pea flowers –


  1. In a small pot, melt the chocolate chips with the honey and balsamic vinegar. Stir and set aside.
  2. In a large pan or cast iron skillet, melt the butter. Add the peas, and saute until the peas begin to brown and crinkle slightly. Add the peas and saute for about 2 minutes, just to lightly sear and heat the fruit.
  3. Pour the chocolate sauce over the peas and strawberries, toss gently and remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Garnish with coarse sea salt and fresh pea shoots.


Allergens: dairy

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