Drinks & Desserts

Strawberry Balsamic Basil Spritzer

1 ½ tablespoons Strawberry balsamic vinegar
750 ml Prosecco sparkling wine (Italian Champagne) or 3 cups sparkling water
Basil Syrup
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
4-5 basil stems
1/2 cup minced basil
To make the syrup, combine the sugar, water and basil stems in a small saucepan. Stirring frequently, bring the mixture to a simmer for about a minute, and then remove from heat. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then remove stems and add minced basil. Place in a jar or other airtight container and allow to cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours (overnight is best)
In pitcher, combine chilled basil syrup and balsamic add in Prosecco and stir well before pouring into glasses.

Simply Strawberry Reduction
1/4 cup Strawberry Red Balsamic
1 pint of strawberries halved
1/4 cup of sliced Almonds

In a small sauce pan bring balsamic to a boil. Once it begins to boils reduce down to a simmer and let cook down to half, about 15-20 minutes stirring often. Once reduced to half, let cool for about 15 minutes. Drizzle over strawberries once cooled and top with sliced almonds.

Additional Ideas for Balsamic Reductions: These reductions are great over sliced cheeses (Gouda, Swiss, Cheddar, Mozzarella, Parmesan, etc). I will use either the Black Cherry, Traditional or Espresso balsamic for the cheese platters. This makes for a gorgeous presentation for any entertaining. Any of the balsamic reductions (White & Red) are amazing over ice cream!

*These reductions are great over sliced cheeses (Gouda, Swiss, Cheddar, Mozzarella, Parmesan, etc).

Zucchini Gingerbread with California Almond Oil
(Courtesy of Rachel Bradley-Gomez Exc. Chef for Veronica Foods)

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup wholewheat flour
4 large eggs
2 cups freshly grated zucchini and/or carrots
1 cup California Toasted Almond Oil
1 cup molasses
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated cane sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons dry ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Grease two standard loaf pans, or one 9"X13" pan.

Whisk the oil, molasses, sugars, eggs, and zucchini in a large bowl. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the dry to the wet ingredients and mix just until no dry spots of flour remain.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick or skewer inserted in to the center comes out clean. Cool and serve with whipped cream.

Dark Chocolate Pot de Creme

Courtsey of Rachel Bradley-Gomez Excutive Chef for Veronica Foods
12 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped)
3 cups Half & Half
6 large egg yolks
8 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/4 cup Olio Nuovo Oro Bailen Picual
1/4 teaspoon salt

Blood Orange Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon blood orange agrumato
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar


Place the chocolate and olive oil in a blender. Whisk the Half & Half egg yolks, granulated sugar and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium heat. Sir the mixture constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom and edge of the pot with a heatproof spoon or spatula so that the mixture does not burn. Continue to stir until the the custard is coats the spoon and almost begins to simmer, about 5 minutes.

Immediately pour the custard over the olive oil and chocolate in the blender. Cover and hold the lid with a thick kitchen towel; blend until combined and smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. Divide the chocolate mixture among 6 ramekins or cups and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Whip the cream and blood orange olive oil with the confectioners' sugar with a mixer or in the blender until soft peaks form. Top the chilled pots de creme with whipped cream before serving.

Makes 6 servings

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