Balsamic Peppered Strawberries with Vanilla Scented Ricotta

I am still on a ricotta kick over here.  So when I spied beautiful little early season strawberries at the local farm market, dessert was born.  The beautiful little berries bathe in an oddly yummy marinade of balsamic vinegar and freshly ground black pepper (trust me on this one – it is delicious!)….mixed with the creaminess of the ricotta – heavenly.  You, of course, can eat the berries alone or substitute marscapone cheese or vanilla ice cream for the ricotta. Easy, elegant dessert that comes together in a snap.  Enjoy!

Balsamic Peppered Strawberries with Vanilla Scented Ricotta


For the strawberries:

4 cups of strawberries, sliced

8 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

2-4 tablespoons sugar 

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the Ricotta:

1 cup ricotta

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-2 tablespoons sugar

Dark chocolate for grating on top

Fresh mint leaves for garnish


 1. For the strawberries: In a medium bowl, mix the balsamic vinegar with the sugar and freshly ground black pepper. I prefer my berries less sweet so typically use 2 tablespoons of sugar. Add more if you like things sweeter.  Stir in the sliced strawberries and let marinate for 30 minutes.

2. For the ricotta:  In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta with the vanilla and sugar. Ditto on the sugar – more if you like things sweeter.

3. To serve:  Place a large scoop of ricotta in a glass dish or large wine glass. Scoop on the berries. Grate some dark chocolate over top. Garnish with a mint leaf.  Serve and mpress those guests!  Buon appetito!

Join the Conversation

  1. Tom Braddock says:

    Thanks Michele! Made this for my birthday dinner dessert last night, among friends who were “curious”, but ultimately impressed. I had done the balsamic reduction idea before, but not in a sweet item! I didn’t really notice the pepper, but the overall taste “zing” really worked! (People then wanted some put over frozen yogurt!) I’ll bet I get a repeat request! – Tom B – Tampa FL

  2. Grazie for the note, Tom – glad your friends liked it! And Buon compleanno e tanti auguri on your birthday!! Enjoy summer!

  3. Michele this looks amazing. Did you use the really expensive balsamic vinegar in this or opt for a more economic version. (I ask because using 8 tblspoons of my gorgeous balsamic seems like a lot) Thanks!

    1. Thanks Tommy! I actually used good quality supermarket brand – much less painful than using the precious stash of aged balsamic. I do however simmer my supermarket brand so it reduces a bit, then store it for use in salads. Kicks it up a bit without the cost! Ciao ciao!

  4. Michele, your website has been a godsend for our “Italy at Home” dining that has replaced our COVID impacted trip to Italy. After the work involved in making your Blueberry Semifreddo, it was nice to have a nice simple recipe for tonight’s dessert! This was a wonderful combination of tastes. My husband and I enjoyed every bite, and it was a wonderful pepper compliment to the Peposo we had for dinner!!

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