This was my selection for Sunday SlowBakers. I chose this recipe knowing that it would come during my local strawberry season; and assuming that we'd welcome a week without a complex, heat-producing recipe by now.
Some of the berries came from my little backyard patch, and some from my local farmer's market. I was also able to get some fresh local ricotta and cream from one of the vendors there. The recipe was very simple--stem the berries, slice, and mix with sugar and chianti wine. A look in the back of the wine closet unearthed one of our bottles of Castello di Volpaia 1997 chianti from a long-ago trip to Tuscany. We were having grilled lamb for dinner, so I figured why not put a cup to good use.
The cream was whipped with sugar, and ricotta and crushed black peppercorns added. My sons enjoyed smacking a ziploc of peppercorns with a rollling pin. I made the cream two hours before dinner, and it held up very well in the fridge.
I spooned the berries into glasses, and added a dollop of cream.
If you like steak au poivre, or unexpected flavors, you'll adore this. We loved it--the sweetness of berries and cream, rich background of wine, and every now and then a jolt of pepper which fades quickly into sweetness. If you're less sure of your guest's tastes, you can use less pepper. Larry had the leftover glass for breakfast this morning.
Diet be damned for a mouthful or two.