Biting into a slice of fresh pineapple is one of those experiences that implants an unforgettable memory in your brain. Indeed, the tangy, juicy, incredibly aromatic fruit possesses one of the most memorable flavors you’ll ever taste.
Cardamom is perhaps the most intensely aromatic spice there is. The little silvery-green, papery pods that shelter the fragrant black seeds might not look so exotic, but break one open and your nostrils will be permeated by the most intoxicating scent.
That first whiff of fresh cardamom seed is likely to make an unforgettable imprint on your mind.
A native of India, the cardamom plant is part of the ginger family. There are two genera: green cardamom (or “true cardamom”) and black cardamom. The most commonly available variety is green cardamom; that’s the one I used for today’s recipe.
As with all spices, it’s preferable to cook with whole cardamom pods, rather than the pre-ground kind, for the simple reason that the instant the seeds are exposed to air, they start to lose their precious fragrance.
What is it about iced desserts? Whether you’re 2 years old or 82, it’s hard to resist an ice cream cone. For most of us, I’m sure that frozen treats are some of our earliest, and happiest, food memories.
I shall never forget the first time I tasted gelato in one of Florence’s most popular gelaterias. It was so creamy, so luscious and yet so light — I was hooked!
The minute I got back home from my trip, I started experimenting. I had a bounty of recipes for ice creams, but none for their lighter Italian cousins. The thought of making gelato, without cream or eggs, was especially alluring to me, so I set about trying to duplicate some of the flavors I had tasted in Florence.
Then came the idea of infusing gelatos with fresh herbs. Not too surprising if you know me even a little: I am totally seduced by fresh herbs and use them just about every time I cook! Basil, mint, lemon balm soon became the new flavors perfuming my gelatos. But none of them was as delightful as today’s rosemary infusion.
Until the season is over, I’ll be eating strawberries every day – straight out of the box.
But now and then a dessert is in order, especially if friends are coming over for dinner. How about a sublime sorbet?
What I love about this recipe is that I can whip it up in a few minutes and let the ice cream maker do its magic.
Two little pieces of advice though:
1- make sure the strawberry purée is well chilled before you place it in your ice cream maker (see recipe for instructions).
2- the cylinder of your ice cream maker must be frozen solid. If you hear anything loose when you shake it, it won’t be cold enough to make the sorbet. Mine lives permanently in the freezer, this way I know it’s always ready.
I use maple syrup instead of simple syrup, to make most of my sorbets. I came up with the idea in my Vermont days. I could get maple syrup in bulk for so little money then! Not only did I fall in love with the flavor, but it’s so much more nutritious than regular sugar.