So, do you remember how I said there were two desserts with berries that I really wanted to share with you? Well, you can see the first one in my most recent post, and this is the second one. And trust me, just because I am posting it second, doesn't mean it is not first-rate in taste. This was soooo good. As in, I easily ate three portions of it without even noticing it, good. After trying this just once, I plan to put it on my regular rotation for dinner parties or evenings with friends, and I have a sneaking feeling you might do the same after trying it yourself.
I thought I should share this with you on this lovely Sunday morning, since it was a couple of weeks ago on a Sunday that I made it. To be precise, it was exactly two weeks ago, on Sunday, May 9th... Mother's Day. Now, I wish I could say that I made this for my lovely, wonderful mother on that particular Sunday; but alas, I am more than 2,000 miles away from any immediate family. So on Mother's Day, I woke up to a slightly gray, cloudy morning feeling lonely and missing my mom and family. I lay there feeling sorry for myself for a little while (cue the world's tiniest violin playing the world's saddest song), and then I got up and went into the kitchen. I made myself a cup of tea and surveyed the options for breakfast. That left me uninspired and still feeling blue. So naturally, I grabbed a stack of cookbooks and crawled back into bed.
I don't really know what it was about paging through the recipes, but I immediately started feeling less lonely. Maybe because cooking and eating is generally a communal experience? Probably more likely because my main associations of food and cooking, and my most fond memories of eating, are with family and loved ones.
In any case, I was paging through one of Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa cookbooks (don't we all love them?), and then I saw it: this beautiful dish with berries was calling out to me like a siren. The fog of my self-pity lifted (thank goodness), and I recalled that I had just bought some amazing organic strawberries and mulberries from the farmer's market the day before. The mulberries were an especially awesome find, since I rarely see them at the market, and these ones were ripe, with a deeply mellow, sweet taste.
Now here's the thing: at the time, I swear that it did not occur to me at all that this dish was in the dessert section of her book, and that it had liqueur in it. Clearly that did not deter me from eating this for breakfast. There was just a flurry of thoughts running through my head: "Berries, lots of them! Pretty colors! Yogurt, honey! Yes, make it now!" I literally ran out into the kitchen and got to work.
Well, "got to work" might be an overstatement, because this recipe is incredibly easy and quick. Basically:
-I went into the kitchen
-puttered around a bit
-mixed up some things
-took some photos
-marveled at the beauty of the berries
-took more photos
-waited patiently for the fruit to macerate (looked at clock 5 times in 5 minutes)
-greedily dug into this gorgeous dish, which incidentally, was in a wine glass.
I ate the first few bites, and I was in love. I quickly finished off the first portion and spooned a second portion into the same glass. I reasoned with myself that I deserved it, I was alone on Mother's Day. Oh man, it was good!
I convinced myself it was ok to have a third portion, because after all, I was the only one here and someone had to eat it. At this point, I was not feeling sorry for myself anymore...and in fact, I was feeling pretty good. Hmm... maybe a little too good... :) I kid you not, it was finally at this point, after having eaten almost all the berries and honey-yogurt, and feeling a teeny-tiny bit buzzed, that it occurred to me that this was not really the sort of thing that someone would usually eat for breakfast. Sort of a funny thing how the mind works, eh? Can anyone say tunnel-vision?
Overall, this recipe is going at the top of my list of keepers. The limoncello really makes the berries shine, both literally and in taste, and the honey-yogurt is the perfect accompaniment. And I think it is best served for dessert after a lovely dinner, because you can assemble it in no time, use any berries you like, and the presentation is really beautiful. That said, no one is stopping you from having for breakfast too.
Fresh Berries with Limoncello and Lemon-Honey Yogurt
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics by Ina Garten
3/4 cup low fat greek yogurt
1/4 cup lemon curd
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup blackberries
3/4 cup mullberries, or other berries
1 pint strawberries, hulled and halved
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons limoncello
First make lemon-honey yogurt. In a medium bowl whisk together first four ingredients until incorporated. Set aside.
Clean all berries well, place them in a large bowl, and toss them together with the sugar and limoncello. Let the berries macerate for about five minutes, then transfer individual servings to bowls or wine glasses for serving. Top with a several tablespoons of the lemon honey yogurt and serve. Garnish with fresh flowers or mint for decoration.