I’ll let you eat with your eyes for a moment before getting to the ingredients, and some of them may surprise you. If you’re searching for a dessert that is easy to prepare and impressive to serve, then look no further. No oven is required; you basically need a bowl and whisk to whip this up. When assembled, the ingredients come together to create a flavorful, creamy, pleasingly sweet, tangy and fresh dessert all in one. It’s makes a delightful way to end a wonderful meal. So grab a spoon and get ready for a bite of balsamic soaked strawberries with luscious ricotta vanilla cream!
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pure cane sugar
1 container fresh strawberries, stems removed and quartered
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves (or mint) cut into ribbons
Makes 4 Servings
Directions: Place the ricotta, honey, and vanilla into a small bowl and mix well until creamy smooth. A hand blender can also be used for a quick mix. Once the vanilla and honey have been incorporated into the ricotta, place the bowl in the refrigerator to cool for about two hours. If you’re eager to get to dessert, it can be served sooner.
For the syrup, pour the vinegar and sugar into a small saucepan and place on the stove, bring it to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for two minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool completely. In a medium-size bowl, toss the strawberries, chopped basil and the balsamic syrup together.
Select your favorite stemware such as a cocktail glass, or use a dessert bowl, or even a mason jar, and divide the cream evenly into each. Top the ricotta cream with the balsamic strawberry mixture, and voila! Ready to serve.
Ricotta, balsamic vinegar and fresh basil sounds like the start of a savory dish, but you’ll be surprised how these ingredients come together to create this treat. Basil, when you bite into it, has a subtle peppery taste to it at first, and then has a hint of a minty flavor that’s refreshing. It works wonderfully well together with juicy ripe strawberries, and the aged balsamic vinegar makes this dessert even more intriguing. Give it a try before topping it on the ricotta cream to see if you like it. If the combination doesn’t suit your palate, c’est la vie, fresh mint leaves can be substituted in place of the basil. The balsamic remains tangy, even when converted into a syrup by the added sugar, but it does have a hint of sweet. It’s wonderful when drizzled on top of the smooth ricotta.
Ricotta of course can be used in either savory or sweet dishes. I love it turned into lemon ricotta pancakes that are delicious for brunch. If your market has a cheese section, ask your cheese monger if they carry a local variety of ricotta that’s made fresh, or look for Ricotta Sopraffina which is one of my favorites. Serious Eats also reviews a number of store bought brands to find the best. Or try a rich homemade ricotta recipe if you decide you want to make it on your own.
Hope you find a delicious ricotta, juicy red ripe strawberries and fresh picked basil along with a fine balsamic vinegar to create this dessert. Enjoy balsamic strawberries with ricotta cream!
Find more delicious and healthy dishes by Ellie Krieger: http://www.elliekrieger.com/