This is the perfect summer dessert...delicious, easy to prepare and healthy! Basil and strawberries are highly complimentary flavors. The fresh basil adds a surprising and delicious pop to the palate. Don't worry about using an expensive balsamic vinegar; a grocery store brand will do perfectly well. Don't leave the strawberries longer than 90 minutes in the vinegar and sugar or they will collapse. Whipped cream is optional. They are delicious either way!
In a large bowl, combine the sugar and vinegar. Let sit for a few minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve.
Gently toss strawberries with the sugar and vinegar. Let sit at room temperature until the strawberries have released their juices but are not yet mushy, about 30 minutes. Do not let them sit more than 90 minutes.
Immediately prior to serving, stack the basil leaves on a cutting board, roll them vertically into a loose cigar shape and thinly slice very thinly across the roll to make a fine chiffonade of basil. This will be easy if you use a very sharp chef’s knife.
Divide strawberries and their juices among four small bowls and scatter each portion with the basil. Top with whipped cream if desired.