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Berries in Sangria Syrup with Ricotta Cream

Berries’ bright jewel hues of red, purple and blue signal their powerful antioxidant punch. Naturally sweet, berries are a delicious way to add more nutrition to your menu. If bought or picked fresh, eat them as soon as you can because fresh berries are delicate and perishable. Off-season, find good-quality frozen berries.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large orange 
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine 
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. sugar 
  • 2 cups mixed raspberries, blueberries and/or blackberries 
  • 8 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese 
  • 1 Tbs. Grand Marnier 
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract 

Directions:

With a paring knife, cut two 2- to 3-inch strips of zest from the orange. Using the fine rasps of a handheld grater, remove another 1 tsp. zest and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the wine, the 1/2 cup sugar and the zest strips, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil until the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool, then remove and discard the zest strips. Put the berries in a bowl and pour the liquid over them.

In a food processor, combine the ricotta, Grand Marnier, vanilla, grated zest and the 2 Tbs. sugar and process until smooth.

Spoon the berries and syrup into 4 bowls or goblets and top each with a dollop of the ricotta mixture. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Eat Well, by Charity Ferreira (Oxmoor House, 2008).