No meal inspired by the farmers market is complete without a juicy fruit dessert. Since strawberries are at their peak now, take advantage of their natural sweetness and incorporate them into a light treat.

The recipe shown here is an updated version of strawberry shortcake. A quick, lemony shortbread stands in for the traditional biscuit, while a fluffy ricotta cheese replaces the heavy whipping cream. This dessert is a welcome conclusion to any backyard dinner, so check out the recipe and


Strawberries with Sweet Ricotta and Lemon Shortbread

Strawberries with Sweet Ricotta and Lemon Shortbread


  1. 1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced (about 3 cups)
  2. ½ cup plus 1½ tablespoons granulated sugar
  3. 3 cups ricotta cheese
  4. 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  5. Zest of 1 lemon
  6. Salt
  7. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  8. Coarse sugar, such as Sugar in the Raw


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with 1/4 cup of the sugar.
  3. In another bowl, mix the ricotta with 1½ tablespoons of the sugar.
  4. In a mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, the remaining 1/4 cup of the sugar, the lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Add the flour, about 1/4 cup at a time, mixing as you go, until a dough forms. (It will be crumbly but should stick together.)
  5. Transfer the dough to an ungreased 9-inch square baking pan and press it into an even layer. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and prick all over with a fork, making sure to poke all the way through. With the handle of the fork, score the dough into 8 equal rectangles.
  6. Bake the shortbread until the edges are browned and the middle is golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let the shortbread cool in the pan for about 5 minutes (it will darken slightly), then cut along the scored lines while the shortbread is still warm. Transfer the pieces to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  7. Divide the ricotta equally among 8 shallow bowls, then top with the strawberries and their juices and a piece of shortbread.

Serves 8.

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