Friday, July 30, 2010

0 Recipe #155: Balsamic Strawberries Drizzled with Sweet Ricotta Cream

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I've never used balsamic vinegar in desserts or anything sweet before, but it seems that a lot of people like it. In the professional culinary world, this dish is considered to be a very sophisticated gourmet delicacy. So I thought I'd give it a whirl. Sure, why not. I'll try almost anything once, within reason. :) 

After the balsamic vinegar sauce's been reduced, all that's left is its salty-sweet flavor. Thought that the balsamic strawberries would go well with sweet ricotta cream (to offset the the bite/sharpness of the sauce), and, as it turns out, they do. :)


Balsamic Strawberries Drizzled with Sweet Ricotta Cream

Ingredients for Balsamic Strawberries:
1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
1/3 c. water
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
12-14 large strawberries, washed, hulled, & sliced 1/4" thick
dash of salt
dash of cracked black pepper

Sweet Ricotta Cream Ingredients:
1/3 c. part-skim, nonfat ricotta
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. lemon juice

Directions: Combine balsamic vinegar, water, 2 Tbsp. honey, & 1 Tbsp. lemon juice in a small nonstick saucepan. Stir over low heat until honey dissolves. Then turn up heat to high and boil until mixture is reduced to a syrup, about 1/2 of its original amount. Remove from heat & transfer to a small bowl to allow it cool completely. (Sauce can be made 1-2 days ahead & refrigerated until you're ready to use it.)

Combine ricotta, 1 Tbsp. honey, & 1 tsp. lemon juice in a blender & blend at the highest speed until smooth & frothy. Mixture should be thinned out to a liquid-like consistency. Divide strawberries into even portions and transfer to bowls. Season with a sprinkling each of salt & pepper. Drizzle strawberries with balsamic syrup followed by the sweet ricotta cream. Serve immediately.

Yield: Serves 2.

Chef's Notes: Alternatively, this dish would taste good served with low-fat vanilla ice cream as a substitute for the sweet ricotta cream.

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