Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Spring Dessert You Need





No, readers, your eyes are not fooling you. I am posting a dessert recipe. Me, the Salt Queen, is posting a dessert on her blog. How 'bout that?

And no, it's not even a dessert I *had* to make for a project. This dessert sounded so good to me that I actually decided to make it on my own.

I do apologize to you readers with a sweet tooth. Except for the December Cookie Orgy, you have been pretty deprived of sugary delicacies on this blog. Sorry about that. As one of the few freakazoids on this planet who lacks a sweet tooth, I rarely even think about making dessert.

But this one appealed to me. Why, you ask?

Well, first off, it uses strawberries, the very fruit that announces the Rite of Spring in the Rocky Mountains. They're coming out our ears right now--big, gorgeous, juicy suckers. I cannot resist spring strawberries. They're such a thrill after a long winter of apples, bananas, pears and oranges...damn, winter fruit is boring.

Second, the strawberries are drizzled with a sugar-balsamic reduction sauce. I love balsamic vinegar like nobody's business. I could bathe in the stuff. And as odd as it sounds, balsamic vinegar loves strawberries. Trust me on this one and just try it. You'll see.

Finally, this is a dessert that your ass isn't going to hate you for! It's healthy! And fresh, and yummy, and not too sweet...which is important to me. Sugar shock sucks.

I actually didn't alter this recipe too much. I know! I usually have to tinker around with everything, but this time, all I did was add a sprinkling of toasted pistachio nuts for contrast and crunch. Serve this up on a spring afternoon and you'll make some people very happy. For kids with picky palates, I'd leave off the basil and the reduction. They'll still enjoy it, especially if you sexy it up with a dollop of whipped cream.



Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Cream
serves 4
from Ellie Krieger's So Easy


1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 16-ounce container fresh strawberries, stems removed and quartered
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
2 tablespoons toasted pistachio nuts, chopped

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

In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar and sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool completely. In a medium sized bowl, toss the berries with the basil and the balsamic syrup.

Divide the ricotta mixture among 4 glass bowls or cocktail glasses. Top with the berry mixture and nuts and serve.

Per serving: 180 calories

42 comments:

  1. Good heavens, the pictures of those strawberries are so divine, I had trouble concentrating on your words. Something about a balsamic reduction and whipped cream??

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  2. Dessert? Did you say DESSERT??? I'm on my way!

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  3. Oh yes, freakazoids unite! Those strawberries look like heaven. If I can't have salt, I'll take fresh fruit any day.

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  4. I didn't know strawberries announced the "Rite of Spring in the Rocky Mountains". Certainly, I've never heard the little rascals every say anything , let alone announce stuff, but still, I believe you.

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  5. Beautiful, looks wonderful I am with you about desserts, really they are an afterthought for me to (reasons I don't do much pastry). Strawberries and Pistachios, well can it get better?

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  6. Ahhhh....dessert....me like.

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  7. That's looks WELL worth trying...

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  8. Strawberries and creamy goodness...classic.

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  9. You've made a verrine, my sweet! Look at those layers. I am SO impressed!
    Pretty good for a non-dessert maker!

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  10. I guess it's time for me to try my first balsamic reduction, because this looks awesome.

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  11. This looks good. I'm like you, I don't have much of a sweet tooth. I usually don't think about it...but the children do and so does the husband. Might have to try this one tonight. Where are my car keys?

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  12. Oh my God! I'm hosting my book club for dinner this weekend and I'm SO making this! It looks delicious, and I do love me some strawberries. Mmmm, mmmm, mmm.

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  13. Oh this sounds so marvelous! Have you ever tried a bit of cracked black pepper with strawberries? It works surprisingly well too. Strawberries and balsamic are one of my all time favorite duos.

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  14. You are a girl after my own heart. LOVE strawberries and balsamic. Am definitely trying this. I have used mint with strawberries as well as basil. This sounds amazing!

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  15. Balsamic vinegar? Check. Basil? Check. Strawberries? Check. Me making this? Check!!!

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  16. Looks delish. One of my favorites? Fresh strawberries sprinkled in fresh ground pepper. Believe me! (Had it in France in a beautiful restaurant.) Add a drizzle of Balsamic if you like. Fabulous.

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  17. Perfect spring dessert; the basil is a great touch. Even better, it's a dessert I could rationalize into having for breakfast (topped with some very oat-y granola, of course!). Can't wait till strawberry season starts in ny.

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  18. Wow. Sounds great... without the pistachios. ;)

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  19. You have strawberries already?! We have to wait until mid-June here in Minnesota (although maybe a week or two earlier this year, given our strange and delightful early spring). I'll save this little gem of a recipe until then.

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  20. Damn. You lost me at "reduction."
    I think I'll go off and make a strawberry margarita......

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  21. oh my god this sounds lush, i'm book marking it...so easy too! You lady are right up my street with taste! xxx

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  22. In my book something isn't dessert without chocolate. BUT, this looks delicious so I'll add it to my list of SNACKS that I'd like to make. I also love balsamic... never thought of adding it to a strawberry dish but it definitely is tempting me!

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  23. I have made this recipe before and I'm here to attest it is heaven in a bowl! Absolute heaven! Our local strawberry farm opens next week - so thanks for the reminder. Can't wait to dig in!

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  24. Yum! I actually sat down last night with fresh strawberries and a small bowl of straight balsamic vinegar. Heavenly!

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  25. Strawberries in any form are a heavenly delight!

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  26. I can't WAIT to try this. I have basil and strawberries starting up in the garden. Should have fruit in 4 weeks or so! and Balsamic? OH Honey!!!! YES! YES! YES!!!!

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  27. I love strawberries like nobody's business! And I need to shrink my arse too! I love you, Kitch Witch!

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  28. I can't believe I'm drooling over fruit in balsamic vinegar!

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  29. She's right, folks! Strawberries + balsamic vinegar = pairing ordained by the food gods.

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  30. Big, juicy, luscious strawberries? With balsamic vinegar and cream and pistachios and...why am I recounting all the ingredients? It's not as if you don't know what's in it! I just have to see the words again. They are so alluring. My taste buds are jumping. And now I'm just fucking pissed we live so far away. Because THIS ONE would be on our dinner menu...you know, the one you'd whip up for the Sarah occasion.

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  31. Those humans who don't have a sweet tooth but love fresh fruit are not freakazoids, you delightful creature. They have refined palates that are raped by refined sugar. So. Forgive yourself the salt preference and clap yourself on the back for 1)a dessert recipe that 2)uses happy seasonal produce that 3)all people love and 4)is easy to make.
    Look at you, makin' the world a better place again today.

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  32. Are those STRAWBERRIES? You should see what a strawberry looks like in Arizona, TKW! They are orange - not red - half white, and not big. How will this delicious looking dessert taste made with sour, orange Arizona strawberries?

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  33. I love strawberries. I love balsamic vinegar, especially reduced to a sweet syrup. And yet, I have been afraid of mixing the two, despite reading of it before. But if Kitchy says it's good...

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  34. fact: you should post more desserts, ESPECIALLY if they're all this decadent and elegant and delicious. three cheers for reduced balsamic vinegar!

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  35. I'm always excited for spring strawberries and I love balsamic over them! This is such a pretty dessert, especially with the pistachios sprinkled over the top! :)

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  36. Oh my! I am a sucker for anything with balsamic on it. I think this will find a home at many a bbq this summer!

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  37. Unfortunately, I AM a dessert person, except I don't wait until dessert time, I usually break into the sweets around 3PM. Yeeeeeaaaah, I know, it's bad.

    But as for this? It looks gorgeous!!! I don't know if I would be able to wait until after dinner for this, either.

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  38. It was PMS..it must have been PMS! Does crazy shit to me.

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