Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Honey Ricotta Mousse with Cherry Balsamic Black Pepper Marinated Cherries

Our philosophy with food at Nan’s is to create ‘simple but elegant’ dishes.  The following is a great example:  we have taken a sophisticated dessert and made it very easy to make.  The intention is for you to make something magical for your loved one in very little time.

Please do not let the black pepper/balsamic vinegar/fruit combo scare you.  Believe it or not, it is a common dessert offering in Italy.  The next time you have some extra fresh strawberries, slice and place them in a bowl.  Drizzle with a small amount of a high quality aged balsamic vinegar like our Pastamoré Barrel-Aged Balsamic, grind some fresh pepper on the top and serve.  It is a delightful and surprising taste sensation – special, grown-up and not too sweet.

We used frozen cherries for this, but strawberries, raspberries or even blackberries would work just as well.  Pair with our other flavored balsamics, like our Pastamoré Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar or Pastamoré Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar.  Normally we are advocates of fresh ingredients, but as you know Valentine’s Day falls in winter, not summer, so frozen will do just fine.

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) fresh ricotta  
  • 1 tablespoon honey 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 1/2 cups whole frozen sweet cherries, thawed and halved
  • 1 tablespoon Pastamoré Dark Sweet Cherry Balsamic Vinegar
  • freshly ground black peppercorns
  • fresh mint leaves (optional as garnish)

Place the ricotta, honey, and vanilla bean in the small bowl of a food processor and process/pulse until smooth. Cover and refrigerate minimum 1 hour to meld flavors.

Place the cherries in a small bowl with the balsamic vinegar and add a small amount of ground pepper.  Stir to combine.  Marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

To serve, divide the cherry mixture between two glasses (we recommend martini glasses) or bowls and top with a scoop of ricotta mousse. Garnish with mint and a light dusting of black pepper, if desired.  Serves 2.

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