Fresh Strawberries Italian Style

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One of the many healthful secrets we learned on our cooking tours to Italy — Recipes for Living: An Italian Adventure in Mindful, Exquisite Eating — was how to use the best and freshest ingredients to make wonderful but healthy meals. Whether it’s Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, balsamic vinegar made in the traditional way, or the fresh produce of the season, Italian chefs know that the natural flavors of the finest ingredients are about all you need to make great taste. So when strawberries are in season, it’s the favorite dessert served in Italian homes. You can’t beat the great taste, health, and easy elegance of this simple version of fresh strawberries.

(Makes 2 cups)

2 cups sliced, fresh strawberries
1 tablespoon sugar (or less, if your strawberries are sweet enough already)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped mint (optional)

Combine ingredients and let mixture stand about 15 minutes. Garnish with a mint sprig; eat by itself, or serve with a cookie, biscotti or over frozen yogurt.