Roasted Strawberries with Ricotta and Mint
By Francis Mallmann
Strawberries have a strong affinity for dairy. The English adore their strawberries and cream while watching tennis players compete at Wimbledon. Strawberry shortcake with whipped cream is an American dessert classic. Eastern Europeans prepare blintzes with strawberries and farmer cheese. In this sumptuous dessert, I caramelize sugar, butter, and strawberries and spoon the molten stew over a dollop of ricotta topped with fresh mint.
- 2 pints (450 g) ripe strawberries
- ½ cup (113 g) sugar
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter,
cut into 6 pieces
- 1½ cups (300 g) chilled ricotta cheese
- A handful of fresh mint leaves
Prepare a fire for medium-low heat and set a grate over it.
Hull the berries and place in a bowl. If they are large, cut them in half lengthwise. Add the sugar and gently toss the berries to thoroughly coat.
Pour the berries into a 9- or 10-inch (23 or 25 cm) cast-iron skillet and dot with the butter. Set the pan on the grate (or on the stovetop over medium heat) and cook until the sugar melts and the berries begin to caramelize, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir occasionally as the butter melts into the caramelized sugar and berries and forms a sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the sauce into a bowl, leaving the berries in the warm skillet. Return the pan to the heat to brown the berries for a minute or so.
Spoon the ricotta onto a serving dish and top with the roasted berries. Shower with the mint and serve the warm sauce on the side.
Excerpted from Green Fire by Francis Mallmann (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2022.
Francis Mallmann is one of the most acclaimed chefs in South America. Born in the Bariloche region of Patagonia, Francis Mallmann grew up in a home where all aspects of cooking were sustained by ever-burning fires. This fueled his fascination for all things culinary, and ultimately his decision to train in the art of French cooking. Francis became a successful chef, but after a while grew restless and bored by the fine dining scene. He decided to return to his roots—cooking with fire!—and applied French techniques to intensify, enhance and develop the flavors and textures of his dishes. He leads with simplicity, generally using only a few ingredients and a series of short steps for cooking.