Now that spring is just around the corner, I’ve started planning out our garden and the recipes that will go along with the ”yummies” we’ll reap. We’ll probably plant here in a couple of weeks and let me tell you, there is nothing like getting your veggies and fruit straight from your backyard. Even if you have a small backyard, which I think we have, you can still make room for a small section in a corner or by a window. If you’ve never gardened before or are a bit weary of the time commitment, start with fresh herbs. Herbs to really well in pots and they are pretty hard to kill. Also, plant something you’ll eat! There’s no sense in planting something you’re not going to love. One thing we’ll be trying AGAIN this year (last year was a big fail) is strawberries. Strawberries are by far my favorite fruit, oh how I love them! They’re packed with vitamins, can be used for snacks, salads and desserts and are beautiful! So, today I’ll be sharing one of my all time favorite recipes that’s very easy and great for a dinner party. Balsamic Strawberries with a Ricotta Whip. I love this recipe because it’s very easy, displays beautifully and is very elegant. It’s also fresh and clean, not heavy at all, perfect for a dinner party where guests can mingle while still enjoying a dessert. I suggest that when you’re picking out your balsamic vinegar choose one that’s priced in the mid range. You don’t need to use really expensive vinegar but the cheap ones just won’t cut it. Believe me…I’ve tried. You can also reduce your fat content by using a “skim” ricotta. As another recommendation, use martini glasses or wide rimmed glass to serve this dish! It makes for an elegant display.
1 c ricotta cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
1 lb strawberries sliced
2 Tbsp basil, fresh (chiffonade)
In a food processor add the ricotta cheese, vanilla and honey. Pulse for a minute or two then refrigerate it for about an hour.
Combine vinegar and sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil; reduce to simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Let the syrup cool completely before topping your strawberries.
In four separate glasses fill the bottoms with the ricotta mixture. You can use a piping bag to make it look uniform. Add your sliced strawberries on top of the cheese mixture and drizzle your balsamic syrup on top. To finish it off, top each glass with a small amount of your basil.