If there is one thing I love, it's indulging in a simple yet elegant dessert on a weeknight with an extra long spoon. This ricotta mousse took 10 minutes to prepare and will raise your spirits on a regular hum drum night, but is special enough to serve to guests.
Fragoline di bosco are "wild" strawberries that are cultivated in a town called Nemi about 30 minutes outside Rome in the Alban Hills. The strawberries are grown on the side of the lake which is actually a volcanic crater. We escaped the heat of Rome two summers ago to Nemi, as do many Romans when the heat gets unbearable. As we strolled through the streets of this tiny town, we stopped to enjoy some of these fresh berries.
Fragoline are popular this time of year in delicate fruit tarts and desserts. They are very fragile and must be consumed quickly. They cannot be washed or they practically dissolve. Like a lot of things that grow in the wild, they have also been used medicinally. These little beauties can alleviate digestive disturbances, and are also high in vitamin C, iodine, iron and calcium. All this in addition to their rustic charm.
`Mousse di Ricotta
This recipe was created by Cristiana from our favorite restaurant in Rome, Santa Lucia. She was kind enough to share the recipe with us. It makes enough for 4 small servings. The original recipe calls for Grand Marnier but I didn't want to buy a bottle so I used some lemon oil which adds just the right fresh, bright flavor I was looking for.
250 grams (1 cup) cows milk ricotta
2 soup spoons sugar
2 soup spoons Grand Marnier or substitute 1/4 teaspoon lemon or orange oil
3 soup spoons Whipped Cream
Beat the ricotta and the sugar for several minutes with an electric mixer until it becomes creamy. Add the Grand Marnier. Whip the cream (or use whipped cream from a can) and fold in with a spoon or spatula. Serve with wild strawberries, raspberries or blueberries.