Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fresh Berries with Limoncello and Lemon-Honey Yogurt


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
Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients
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. 

44 comments:

  1. wow what a great recipe love the berries they are so perfect where on earth did you find them! and the sauce hmmmmmmmm!!!!

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  2. Lovely! I grew up with a mulberry tree in the backyard and I haven't tasted those berries in 5 years. I try to talk my mom into bring some down when she visits but they won't make the trip. That doesn't mean I can't find them at my market! Beautiful inspiration (and fond memories of my childhood), thank you!

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  3. Just lovely! What a beautiful breakfast! ...and I love Ina. :)

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  4. Looks amazing! I'm going to have to add this to my summer dessert list. Anything Ina touches is usually gold!

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  5. What a nice dessert or breakfast! I love almost anything Ina makes, so I am sure it is delicious!

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  6. Wow, that looks awesome. There is nothing quite like fresh berries, and limoncello is probably my favorite liqueur. A very refreshing treat for a hot summer day. Thank you!

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  7. Local berries are not quite ready yet, but this looks so good, I may not be able to wait. (Oh, I wonder if I can find mulberries?) I, for one, have absolutely no problem with dessert for breakfast - in fact, I can't think of a better way to start the day! 8-)

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  8. Yum! I would have seconds and thirds too. Nice touch serving it in a wine glass.

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  9. Just beautiful! Wondering if you would like to try your hand at this month's Hay Hay it's Donna Day event?

    http://www.foodbuzz.com/blogs/2263171-donna-hay-s-blackberry-cheesecake-pots

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  10. what a fantastic treat this would be!! Ina sure has it right, and your presentation and photos are just perfect! what a great combination with those fresh berries
    thanks for sharing!

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  11. A wonderful dessert! Berries are so irresistible!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  12. Isn't it wonderful how food can get you out of the blues? Sounds like a great dessert that did a good job of being breakfast too. Beautiful photography and enjoyed your writing.

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  13. Oh good grief, you are cute. Nothing like gettin' buzzed from your breakfast. ;)

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  14. Oh I could use this as a dessert! it is so tempting! you combined so many of my favorite ingredients! beautiful!

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  15. I love Ina May. This looks beautiful and delcious!

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  16. Breakfast dessert. That is something that I need to try one day. Love the photos!

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  17. Delicious and refreshing and so incredibly spring!

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  18. Looks beautiful and fresh and light and perfect! Will haveeee to try this!!

    Jessie

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  19. You were sad so a third serving was completely justified. Or so I tell myself when I'm sad and eating my third chocolate chip cookie :)

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  20. Gotta love Ina! She makes the most simple and elegant dishes. Thanks for sharing!

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  21. This recipe look delicious! I'm going to try it this week :)

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  22. Wow, what a nice way to serve berries...love the presentation :-)

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  23. Of course you have berries! I see that you live in San Diego. We lived in La Jolla. I do miss the markets. Berries are not yet in season here in Chicago but I'm ready when they are.


    Best,
    Bonnie

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  24. Nice, I love food like this! I've never seen your blog before at all, and I feel like I've seen them all. I love it though. your header is super cute too...

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  25. I'll have to do lemon chess pie soon and post the recipe. Hard to explain the treat and why it's called "chess" since it has nothing to do with chess.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  26. A perfect summer dessert, beautiful!

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  27. awww. I couldn't be home for Mother's Day either, but I sure didn't wake up inspired to make anything this nice for myself! I'll redeem myself and try something to that effect! Nice to have found your blog.

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  28. I liked reading your blog and this looks and sound like a delicious way to enjoy berries.

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  29. Ina hasn't disappointed me yet either. I have this book but haven't tried the recipe yet. This post has encouraged me to try this sooner! Thanks!

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  30. I miss my mom too being halfway around the globe from all my family :( I wonder what kind of mom Ina would be? This is perfect sunday brunch food.. thanks for posting!

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  31. Awwww, I had violins playing here too, My mother is in Brazil.... its looks delicious. I love Ina's recipes. Loved the flower.

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  32. Nice touch with the flower.

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  33. The perfect summer desert. Great photo!

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  34. Here via NSHP Pie Contest - yours rocks. And may I just say, you have serious taste. Villa Masa is the only limoncello. Everything else is just yellow liquid.

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  35. Yogurt is my favorite summer treat!

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  36. A very fresh dessert, I love it and the pictures!

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  37. Sounds lovely! And fantastic pictures too. I love fresh desserts like this in the summer when there is so much great fruit out there.

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  38. Beautiful and so simple, but the clincher for me, is the Limoncello *sigh*

    You take gorgeous pics!

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  39. What a pretty presentation. Delightfully fresh!

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  40. wow - this looks great! lovely photos too:)

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  41. What a quick and easy dessert that's super elegant as well! I love this time of the year -the fruit is just amazing! Great job - I would be tempted to eat all of by myself too!

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