Photo by Alexandra Grablewsky, food styling by Mariana Velasquez, and prop styling by Lynda White
Ricotta cheese fits equally well in the world of sweet as it does in savory. In this recipe you just whip it up with a little honey to get the most magnificent, rich cream which is fantastic topped with juicy strawberries in a sweet balsamic syrup. Ribbons of basil add a fresh perfume, proving it too is delightful in dessert.
Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream
1 cup part-skim or whole ricotta cheese
4 tablespoons honey, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
One 16-ounce container fresh strawberries, stems removed and quartered
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
Put the ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoons of the honey, and the 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 the remaining 2 tablespoons of honey and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool completely. (The balsamic mixture will thicken as it cools.) In a medium-size bowl, toss the berries with the balsamic syrup.
Divide the ricotta mixture among 4 cocktail glasses or dessert bowls, top with the berries, garnish with basil, and serve.
Makes 4 servings
Serving size: 1/3 cup cream and 1/2 cup berries
Calories 200; Total Fat 5 g (Sat Fat 3 g, Mono Fat 1.5 g, Poly Fat 0 g); Protein 8 g; Carb 31 g; Fiber 2 g; Cholesterol 20 mg; Sodium 65 mg, Total Sugars 25 g (including 17 g added sugars)