Genève’s Kitchen

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Spring Fling

April 15th, 2006 · 5 Comments

Even though I now live in California where fresh fruits and vegetables are in abundance all year-round, I still associate certain foods with their respective seasons. Strawberries for me are decidely Spring. When I see strawberries at the store (for a reasonable price) I know that Summer will be just around the corner.

When I saw beautiful little round strawberry faces today I couldn’t resist their sweet scent and bought them. On my way home I started to contemplate what I would do with them. The obvious thing is to eat them in their natural glory. I could make smoothies with them, strawberry shortcakes…but these were all very familiar to me and I was in the mood to experiment.

I’ve seen many recipes with mascarpone but despite my fascination with this versatile cheese had yet to try it myself. I immediately started to concoct my strawberry mascarpone dessert recipe in my head and by the time I got home was so eager to start puttering around in the kitchen that I dropped my bags and got to work. The result: a light, creamy, fragrant, delicious dessert!

The mascarpone has the rich intensity of whipped cream with a thick texture that is more cheese-like. It is so versatile that it can either be used as a fantastic savory accompaniment, or in a sweet dish, depending on how it is prepared.

Fresh Strawberries with Honey Vanilla Mascarpone

For this dessert I sliced strawberries (1 pint) and macerated them in a little sugar (use less sugar if the strawberries are sweet to begin with – I used a scant teaspoon) and freshly squeezed lemon juice (half lemon).

Meanwhile, I scooped out some mascarpone into a bowl, added some fresh vanilla seeds (buy vanilla beans, cut along the bean with a sharp knife and scrape out the black paste – once added to the mascarpone it will look like the tiny flecks of vanilla that you see in vanilla ice cream) and honey. There were no measurements taken here – everything is done strictly according to taste. It’s all part of the simplicity of the dish.

The strawberries were ready after a half hour of macerating in the sugar and lemon juice. I put a little mound of the strawberries into several bowls and then put a dollop of mascarpone on top. I sprinkled some freshly julienned mint over the mascarpone to finish.

Aside from looking fantastic, all these flavors were perfectly balanced – no one outshining another. I love how simple yet complex this dessert is – the flavors are incredible but the preparation is so easy.

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5 responses so far ↓

  • Grace Carter // Apr 18, 2006 at 11:51 am

    Geneve, this dessert sounds fresh and tantalizing. (Actually, it reminds me a little of Giada’s mascarpone recipe for grilled peaches.) I’ll have to get myself out to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market to see what delectable morsels you’ll pick up next. Just for fun, here’s a neat little link with strawberry information:

    http://www.vegparadise.com/highestperch45.html

  • geneve // Apr 18, 2006 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks Grace! I would love to accompany you to the market – I think you’ll find it really inspiring. Also, thanks for that great link about strawberries – what a history they’ve had!

  • Laura // Apr 29, 2006 at 4:14 pm

    Wow! This could not be easier and was delicious… I substituted vanilla extract for beans (as I forgot to by them), and it worked! Just a drop or two.

    Also, tried the salmon w/ dill (no longer on your site) and LOVED it – will be repeating both of these… often.

  • Caroline // May 6, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    Geneve,
    YUMMY! I tried this recipe except I did a hybrid of yours and Giada’s. I whipped cream and folded it into the cheese which gave it a lighter texture and I also added a sprinkle of cinnamon. I actually prefer JUST the cheese (like your recipe) but Chris said it was too rich for him and he’s a whipped cream fiend as well. (I predict fights with our children over who gets to lick the spoon. LOL) I also added raspberries to the macerated stawberry mixture. So good!!! I love your blog and it was SOOOO nice seeing you and Kareem the other day. Thanks for the delicious sandwiches and please let Gracie and I take you out for a scrumptious lunch when you come to Vancouver!!!! Take care and I look forward to trying more of your fabulous recipes.