Olive Oil and Parmigiano Gelato with Balsamic-Macerated Strawberries

For some, the start of summer signifies water ice, ice cream and gelato season and the ice cream maker comes out of the closet and onto the counter. If you’re like me, however, the ice cream maker spins all year round as we seek to incorporate the best of seasonal ingredients into a frozen dessert.

Long after the summer ends, sweet potato and pumpkin turns to peppermint and gingerbread as fall bleeds into winter and the flavor rolls on. In spring, much as the air grows sweeter and the vegetation grows more lush, so do the flavors that we seek in our kitchens – hearty is replaced with lighter fare as we break the chains of comfort foods and go for bold and refreshing.

The following recipe awakens the tongue as a brisk and bracing aftershave awakens the face. Some of the ingredients have been sourced from local producers. The milk and cream comes to us from Trickling Springs Dairy. Farm fresh eggs and strawberries are also used. The Parmigiano comes from the inimitable Giorgio Cravero; the vinegar from Fattoria Etense in Modena; the Arbusana olive oil comes to us from the Olave’ company in Chile and is used for its sweet banana and pineapple notes. Here, the local tastes of spring mingle with the terroir of Italy and Chile to create a sensation that can only be created on one common ground – our kitchens! This recipe is quick and easy to follow and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

Yields 2 pints

For the gelato

6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
¾ cup Arbusana Olive Oil by Olave´
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
? cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Combine the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Use the whip attachment to beat them for 5 min on medium speed, or until the mixture is thick and very pale and forms a ribbon when the whip is lifted. Continue beating and drizzle in the olive oil; beat for 2 more minutes.

Add the milk and cream and continue to beat until all ingredients are combined.

Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

During the last five minutes of freezing, sprinkle in the cheese.

For the Sauce

2 pints organic strawberries, wiped with a damp cloth, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup raw honey
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
Mint sprigs for garnish

Place berries in a small mixing bowl with honey and toss gently.
Cover and allow berries to macerate for at least two hours, stirring occasionally. Traditionally, the berries are not refrigerated, but it’s fine to do so. A thick, ruby red syrup will form as the berries sit. When ready to serve, add the balsamic vinegar, and stir. If you like, add several chopped mint leaves to the berries; otherwise just garnish them with whole mint sprigs.

To Plate

Place 3 scoops of gelato in an ice cream dish. Top with strawberries. Garnish with fresh mint leaf.