This is the best kind of dessert. It requires no baking, no real skill, hardly any cooking, and somehow becomes this elegant dish. It’s faux-fancy. All you have to do is combine berries, some citrus juice and zest, basil, and a little sugar in a bowl and wait. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and wait some more. The heat will bring out the juices in the berries without cooking them. Remove the bowl from the pot, wait until it cools, and then put it in the fridge and wait until it’s chilled. That’s it. All you’ve got to do is wait. I’ll admit waiting can be a challenge, but this dessert is worth having a little patience. The bright red juices are beautiful and deliciously tart. It’s perfect combined with a scoop of sweet vanilla ice cream. So this July 4th, forget about lining up blueberries and raspberries on a sheet cake to make it look like a flag. It takes forever and those raspberries will never get straight enough. Instead make this red, white, and blue dessert and you’ll have plenty of time to drink a cocktail and enjoy the 4th while you wait!
- 3 cups mixed berries (about 1 lb.); if using strawberries, cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
- 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 sprig basil, torn into pieces, plus small leaves for garnish
- Extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Vanilla ice cream
Combine first 6 ingredients and basil sprig in a medium heatproof bowl; toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap. Place over a large saucepan of simmering water; cook for 10 minutes.
Let cool for 15 minutes. Chill until cold, about 4 hours. DO AHEAD: Berry gazpacho can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
Divide fruit and juices among bowls; drizzle with oil, garnish with basil leaves and pepper, and top with a scoop of ice cream.