When I was very young, we had raspberry brambles in our backyard that produced enough sweet, red fruit to occupy small hands for a while in the summer sun as I filled my empty Cool Whip tub, for no other purpose than to eat the spoils and give my mother a few minutes’ peace. As I grew older, my interest in battling the prickly plants and the beach plum bushes that surrounded them waned, until the birds and squirrels began claiming the lion’s share of the berries, and finally the raspberry bushes (and a significant portion of the beech plum bushes that surrounded them) were cleared out to create a larger backyard.
I noticed, visiting my mother’s house recently, that the raspberry bushes are trying valiantly to mount a resurgence, even so many years later, which speaks volumes about the persistence of nature. It will be some time before my own future children are able to fill Cool Whip tubs with juicy, ripe berries at their grandmother’s house, but in the meanwhile, markets and grocery stores are willing to provide me with a bounty of them for my kitchen.
In my first dish this week, a simple four ingredients combine to make a quintessential summer indulgence: frozen yogurt. Now that I’ve made frozen yogurt, I may never make ice cream again — it is so simple, and comes together much easier and faster than its rich, fatty relative. The second dish is as well-suited for the dessert table as it is the breakfast table; rich ricotta is sweetened with maple syrup and fresh raspberries and baked for a treat that just hugs the line between sweet and savory. It’s been so hot lately that I used a frozen pie crust, rather than wrestle with trying to make pastry in 90 degree weather! My final dish this week is contains yogurt and berries, but not like the first; this time, they are combined in a healthy twist on a savory cream sauce for chicken and pasta.
Raspberry Frozen Yogurt
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 3/4 pound fresh raspberries
- 1/4 cup superfine granulated sugar
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 pie crust
- 1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 c maple syrup
- 3/4 pound fresh raspberries
- confectioner’s sugar to top
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into “tenders”
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 heaping tablespoon Greek yogurt
- 1 package fettuccine, cooked to al dente
- salt & fresh cracked black pepper
Melt butter in a saute pan, and add shallots. Cook until fragrant, then add chicken tenders and cook until browned on all sides. Add vinegar and raspberries and cook down; when the chicken is cooked through, remove to a bowl and cover to keep warm. Add yogurt to sauce and stir until well-combined and creamy. Serve chicken on top of pasta, and spoon sauce over chicken. Garnish with additional berries, or chopped chives if you like. Serve with a side salad — in this case, we had an avocado fennel salad.
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