Simple Isn’t Boring

As you might guess, given the number of posts I have written about ice cream and sorbet, I am a big fan of dessert.  I’m not sweet-fiend, but I do feel that every meal should have its corresponding dessert, or at least some kind of sweet component.  At breakfast and lunch, and even sometimes dinner, this is usually fruit.  Sometimes, though, I get a creation itch and make up a new ice cream, or cheesecake, or nut torte, or truffle. 

More often, unfortunately, I want a dessert as elaborate and delicious as one of those things, but don’t have enough time (or am too lazy) to do the work to make one. 

Last night was just such a situation–I was both exhausted (don’t ASK me about the blizzard) and out of time (I don’t want an apple, but it’s 30 minutes till dinnertime!).  A mental review of the cupboards gave me no ideas.   I ducked my head into the fridge to grab an ingredient for the main meal, and spied two small containers of Greek yogurt hiding behind Teacherman’s massive jug of juice. 

Ha ha and ho HO.

Down into the cupboard to grab the balsamic vinegar, up into the freezer for the pine nuts.  A big glug of vinegar reduced in the microwave while I quickly toasted the pine nuts in a pan, all the while keeping an eye on what I was making for dinner. 

I dumped the nuts out onto a cool plate just as the microwave dinged and as my entree finished cooking.  Our meal was delicious (pasta with mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and edamame, in case you’re interested), but the dessert was surpassing. 

Greek yogurt, of course, is strained until it’s almost as thick as cream cheese, but with the unmistakable tang of a cultured product.  It almost held its shape when I scooped it out into serving dishes, like a no-work version of ice cream.  The balsamic vinegar had reduced to a sweet, deep brown syrup, and I dribbled glistening tablespoons over each serving.  The pine nuts–now caramel-colored and crisp–were strewn into each dish, and with bowls and spoons, we sat down to our dessert.

Can such an odd combination be comforting?  It was.  We each held a little bowl of creamy comfort, but it wasn’t too much.  The throat-catching sweetness of the vinegar countered the tangy richness of the yogurt, while the pine nuts added texture to the unremitting creaminess.   I wanted to hug the bowl to my chest and wallow in the comfort, but I refrained. 

I did, however, lick the bowl.

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Published in: on February 2, 2008 at 8:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

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