Friday, July 28, 2006

Summer sweets

I'm not a sugar girl (with the exception of my Southside addiction). I don't need chocolate daily. I rarely eat dessert.

Instead, I crave salty, crunchy things. The crust is my favorite part of the pie. Put a basket of chips in front of me, and prepare for an episode of mindless munching. If it's got bacon in it, I'm pretty much in hog heaven.

But I do love fruit, mostly unadorned: mango slivers with lime, halved figs with a dab of chevre, peaches with lemon verbena syrup. And, when I want to glam it up just a little, this:


Make syrup by combining 2 parts honey with 1 part balsamic vinegar. Add a splash of vanilla.

Halve nectarines and put, cut side up, into an oven-safe pan. Brush with syrup. Broil until the peaches start to brown on top.

Serve with a spoonful of fresh ricotta and more syrup drizzled on top.

This recipe is very clean, so everything has to be tasty: the nectarines should be sweet and firm, the vanilla should have bits of vanilla bean, the vinegar should have some depth. I use fresh ricotta from Trader Joe's, but I imagine it would be even better with fresh homemade ricotta.

Easy, sweet but not-too, tangy, impressive and delicious.


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