Saturday is market day. The whole stretch of the main road is closed to traffic and fully-covered with vans selling everything you can imagine. It's a long walk and can get quite tight at times but you forget all these while you are immersed in the middle of the hub. Browsing around is always a rewarding treat for me. I'm not speaking about the myriad stalls of clothes or shoes or anything wearable. The only thing that rivets my attention is the rows of fruits, vegetables, hams, cheeses, bread & herbal plants. I am referring to the edible part.
Saturday's finds were Sicilian strawberries and Calabrian clementines. I was going to skip the strawberries however inviting they were because they were still off-season. And when they're off season, they are usually imported, insipid and quite expensive. Then I overheard a lady asking where the strawberries came from and the answer baffled me. Sicily. I didn't know Sicily produces strawberries. That got me. I will take home anything Sicilian. So I took a box, like the woman who asked where they came from. We both had curious expressions wondering about our similar purchases.
The big box of strawberries rested under the kitchen window. It caught everyone's attention and its aromatic perfume was pervading the whole kitchen. And there were two pairs of little hands who found them too irresistible too. It was going to be a wonderful sunny morning.
The past days had been exceptionally beautiful. The sun was relentless and it continued to shine and shed warmth. The weather is finally starting to pave way to spring. You don't know how excited I am about it. It's the season I look forward to, the most. The temperature is perfect, the leaves and flowers are coming out, there are new vegetables & fruits to look forward to and we can start settling ourselves outdoors again.
Among all the dessert recipes I did, this stands out among the rest. There is good harmony in its blending, fruity and nutty at the same time. It completely blew me away. I can't imagine myself saying that to a dessert with ricotta. The non-dairy side of me makes this an exception. I can have this glass over and over again. If my husband will not wrestle it away from me first. He loves it too.
I wanted to mix the strawberries with ricotta and pistachios. I checked the internet for some ideas but there was not a big tide of recipes about it. I found inspiration in Mangiare Bene's semifreddo di ricotta e pistacchi con fragoline di bosco. The confirmation that ricotta goes well with strawberries was enough. I went ahead with my recipe.
I spent the whole weekend cooking and baking. I am going to share with you the recipes of foccacia al rosmarino (with rosemary), foccacia con pomodorini e origano (cherry tomatoes & oregano) and spaghetti alla puttanesca in the next days.
I hope you had an inspiring weekend like I did.
Have a good week!
Strawberry & Ricotta Trifle with Pistachio Brittle & Vermouth Strawberries
- 250 g. ricotta
- 50 g. powdered sugar
- 350 g. strawberries
- 1 teaspoon Vermouth
- 30 g. granulated sugar
- 30 g. crushed Bronte pistachios or any kind
- 50 g. granulated sugar (you can also put up the amount of sugar to about 70 - 80 g.)
- 3 tablespoons water
- 150 g. fresh strawberries
- 1/4 cup Vermouth
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Prepare ricotta. Sieve ricotta to attain a creamy & smooth texture. Whisk in powdered sugar. Mix well. Refrigerate for half an hour.
- Prepare strawberry sauce. Take 350 grams of the strawberries. Clean & take away top part. Put them in a blender with 30 g. sugar and a teaspoon of Vermouth. Blend until smooth.
- Prepare pistachio brittle. Get a small thick bottomed saucepan. Melt sugar and water in the pan. Don't move the spoon. Just swirl the sugar around the pan by moving the pan itself. When the sugar melts, distribute the pistachios evenly and swirl again. When the caramel becomes brownish, transfer to a plate with wax paper on top. Let it cool until it hardens. Break into pieces.
- Strawberry garnish. In a bowl, pour 1/4 cup Vermouth and mix in 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Clean & take away top part of the strawberries. Quarter the remaining 200 g. strawberries. Put them in the bowl with Vermouth. Marinate for 10 minutes. Drain.
- Prepare the trifle. Put a layer of ricotta in the glass. Add a layer of strawberry sauce. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Before serving, garnish with marinated strawberries. Sprinkle crumbled pistachios on top.