Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream

On the weekend, I was tipped off about a very tasty Food Network recipe for Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream. It's simply too easy and too delicious for you not to try it as soon as you possibly can. It's a light dessert of fresh strawberries and ricotta cream drizzled with a sweet balsamic reduction. This is the perfect recipe for when local strawberries are in season.

And actually, why stop at strawberries? This recipe would work well with fresh peaches or blackberries.

Balsamic Vinegar

The queen of vinegars is the balsamic. True balsamic vinegar is made from the Trebbiano grape. The rich brown color comes from being aged in wood casks for many years. Although it is made from grapes, balsamic vinegar isn't produced directly from wine (as are most vinegars). The authentic product may not contain any wine vinegars - the grape juice is reduced, fermented and then made directly into vinegar.

Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream
The following serves recipe four. If you're anything like me, you may want to double this one.


1 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 (16-ounce) container strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons

Put the ricotta cheese, honey and vanilla extract into the small bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

In a small saucepan combine the vinegar and sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, toss the berries with the basil and the balsamic syrup.

Divide the cream among 4 cocktail glasses, top with the berry mixture and serve.

MORE DESSERT RECIPES-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Indian Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk
Sweet, creamy, fragrant, delicately simple. This is a delicious, coconut milk rice pudding with raisins, toasted pistachios and cardamom.

Panna Cotta
Panna cotta in Italian means "cooked cream" and comes from the Northern region of Piedmont in Italy. The version uses buttermilk in place of cream which adds a nice tangy flavour to the custard.

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