I don’t think I mentioned it, but I’m spending some time with family in the States, and I got to see my mom for a few days last week. It was wonderful. On our last night together, we decided to go out to dinner at Olive Garden. I love Olive Garden. Truly.
I decided that since I rarely eat out, and I love Olive Garden so much, I was going to go all out and just stuff myself full of all of my favorite things. I started out with an appetizer…the smoked mozzarella fonduta (omigosh, so yummy), and I sort of wish I hadn’t.
Alright, don’t judge me, but I dripped pretty much the entire first bite on myself. I’m not a slob or a pig. As previously discussed, I’m a klutz. No amount of slow, steady care can prevent me from spilling, dropping, or dripping food onto myself. In fact, I’m pretty confident that I have excellent table manners…I’m just a klutz. On the whole, I make it through my meals without spotting or staining what I’m wearing, but I try not to get too cocky, lest I ruin some beautiful new top that I adore.
That night at Olive Garden, I (proudly) didn’t ruin any clothes. No stains, no spots. Nope. No. Instead, I burned the living daylights out of myself with hot, molten cheese. Why, I ask you, why? Does the cheese have to be that hot?? As I brought the tiny piece of pretty, toasted bread with beautiful, golden brown and steaming mozzarella lining the front edge to my mouth, I watched in slow motion as the cheese flung itself away from the bread and onto … me. Onto … my chest. Not just onto my chest … but right in the center of my breasts.
What, may I ask, is the proper etiquette for handling searing hot cheese, running down your cleavage and scalding your poor boobies?! I’d like to know, because I’m not entirely sure that I handled the situation too well. Not unless making a sound like a drowning person gasping for air, throwing your bread onto the table, and flailing at your poor sister across the table counts as proper. Seriously. I don’t know why anyone takes me anywhere.
I’m not sure that my darling family believed the extent of my pain until I forced them all to look at the quarter sized red patch centered squarely between the girls. Add this cleavage flashing moment of insanity to my accidental shout out of “huge boobs and nipples” (not referring to myself, or any human actually…it’s a long story) during a particularly quiet lull in the restaurant, and I’m surprised I’m allowed to return. I’m going to end up getting myself banned for life. I’ve seriously missed Olive Garden since we moved…I don’t want to lose it forever.
Needless to say, I didn’t get dessert that night. Although, maybe something cold would have made my poor wounded Lucy and Ethel feel better…of course, I would have had to spill that on myself too, to get any relief. And no one wants to see that. Well….maybe the Hubster does, but we won’t go there.
How about I change the subject and get to today’s yummy recipe now?
Something else (something less embarrassing, and far less painful) that I miss about living in the States is shopping at Whole Foods Market. I loved Whole Foods. I love any little natural and whole foods market. I especially love farmers’ markets, but I’ve never lived anywhere with much of a farmers’ market. Sad, huh?
The Hubster and I used to meet up for lunch at Whole Foods at least every other week. I loved knowing that we were getting a healthy lunch out together, and it was close enough to his work that we were able to meet there often. We usually got separate meals, but occasionally we’d share something delicious from the selections, then he’d head back to work, and I’d shop. And get dessert.
I loved everything about Whole Foods, but my very favorite thing about shopping there was the candy/gelato counter. Even if I didn’t get any gelato on a particular trip, I always tried the new flavors that they had each time. One flavor that I always got, though, when they had it, was pineapple rosemary.
I love pineapple anyway, so I was really excited about trying this gelato the first time I saw it, but I’m not gonna lie…the rosemary almost scared me off. It’s no secret that I’m not particularly adventurous with my food. I try to be…I try to give new, and sometimes unusual, foods and flavor combinations a chance, but I’m a big, old chicken most of the time. This time, though, I gave it a chance…after all, it’s not a really wild and crazy combo…just a little different. I’m so glad I tried it, because it is so delicious. The two flavors compliment each other perfectly. I love the tart sweetness of the pineapple with the almost savory earthiness of the rosemary. You wouldn’t expect it, but the rosemary even adds an interesting kind of sweetness itself.
This is an easy, pretty much standard ice cream recipe. It has your typical sugar, heavy cream, milk, and egg yolks (I made it twice…once with 5 eggs and once with 3…it’s better with only 3). The only additions are the pineapple (pureed in it’s juice), and the rosemary (chopped very fine).
I also decided to add some dried pineapple candy to the ice cream as it was freezing, but you could skip this. I ended up preferring the smooth, creamy bites of the ice cream that didn’t have the candy, but the Hubster enjoyed the candy pieces. It’s really just personal preference, whether you add it or not.
This stuff ended up tasting perfectly like what I remembered! I was so happy with the end results, I could hardly wait to share it. Not only is it delicious, but look at how gorgeous it is too. I adore the creamy yellow color, speckled with tiny bits of fresh rosemary and golden yellow chunks of dried pineapple. Even with all of the egg yolks and dairy in it, this was a perfect summer treat. It was light and refreshing, but completely satisfying end to our meal.
If you’ve never tried this flavor combo before, I highly recommend it. It’s a surprising and wonderful delight. If you’re not sure about it, you can easily omit the rosemary, and just make some delicious pineapple gelato instead.
This is still one of my favorite gelato flavors, and I’m so happy that it tastes exactly as I remember. I hope you give it a chance, and that you love it as much as I do. Enjoy!
Pineapple Rosemary Gelato [Printable Version]
Make about 1.5 quarts (almost 2)
1 cup (250 ml) milk
2 cup (500 ml) heavy cream
3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar
3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped very finely (you can adjust this to taste, if desired)
1 15.5-ounce (439 grams) can (or 2 8 ounce cans) crushed pineapple, plus juice, pureed
1/2 cup (2.5 ounces/71 grams) dried pineapple, chopped (opional)
Place 1 cup of the heavy cream in large bowl with a fine mesh sieve over top of it; set aside.In a medium sauce pan set over medium high heat, warm the milk, half of the cream, and the sugar. Stir frequently until the sugar is dissolved and the milk has almost reached boiling point.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. In a fine, slow, and steady stream add about half of the hot milk mixture to the eggs while whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Again whisking constantly, slowly pour the egg mixture into the remaining milk mixture that is in the saucepan. Over medium high heat, bring the mixture to a low boil, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula. Cook the mixture until it’s thickened and it coats the spatula. Pour the egg mixture through the sieve and into the waiting cream. Stir int he rosemary and pineapple puree. Stir the mixture over an ice bath to bring it down to room temperature, or cover and allow to cool naturally. Once it reaches room temperature, cover and chill for 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
Pour the chilled mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Stir in the dried pineapple after the ice cream has started to freeze (adding it now, rather than at the beginning of freezing, prevents the candy from sinking to the bottom and helps it get distributed evenly).
Recipe by Darla