Peppercorn Feta-Crunch Ice Cream Squares with Fresh Strawberry Basil Syrup
Recipe courtesy of Carmell Childs, Grand Prize Winner in the 2016 Nikos® "Wave of Flavor" recipe contest
Yield: 12 squares
Feta Ice Cream Squares
c. salted butter, melted
c. brown sugar
cups rice cereal squares, coarsely crushed
c. sweetened shredded coconut
c. sliced almonds, toasted
c. peppercorn feta cheese, crumbled
qt. vanilla ice cream
c. plus 1 tablespoon feta cheese, crumbled
Strawberry Basil Syrup
cups strawberries, hulled & quartered
tablespoons granulated sugar
tablespoons basil leaves, chopped
whole strawberries (for fan garnish)
Combine butter and brown sugar in a small, heavy, saucepan over medium-high heat; bring mixture to a boil and remove from heat. In a large mixing bowl add cereal, coconut, almonds, peppercorn feta cheese, and brown sugar mixture. Stir until ingredients are thoroughly coated. Press half of the mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish.
In a large mixing bowl combine ice-cream and crumbled Nikos Feta Cheese, use a sturdy flat edged spatula to cut and fold the feta into the ice cream until it’s distributed throughout. Carefully spread ice-cream in the baking dish and evenly sprinkle the remaining cereal mixture over the top. Freeze until solid; at least 3 hours or overnight.
Meanwhile, prepare Strawberry Basil Syrup. In a blender, puree the quartered strawberries just until smooth. In a small, heavy, saucepan combine water and sugar. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Boil 6 minutes (mixture will be syrupy and approximately reduced by half); remove from heat. Stir the strawberries and basil into the syrup until combined and pour into a dish or squeeze bottle with nozzle tip and store in the fridge.
Cut ice-cream into 12 equal squares, drizzle individual serving plates with strawberry syrup, place squares over syrup and garnish each with a strawberry fan*.
*To make a strawberry fan, take a paring knife, slice strawberry from a point slightly below the top stem to the bottom. Continue making thin slits from one end of the strawberry to the other. Gently spread the strawberry apart creating a fan.
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