It was hard to justify doing anything to these cherries besides eating them out of hand, but it seemed even sillier not to make the dessert that inspired the whole trip in the first place. Stupid’s more like it.
So here it is: 2 cups of Port boiled down to a thick syrup (15 minutes or so). Add the pitted cherries. Let macerate for as long as you can stand it. Spoon over the best ricotta you can find (Russo’s carries ricotta from Purity in Quincy and sometimes Gigi’s Mozzarella House in Everett). A few generous cracks of black pepper made it 200% better, something I wish I had discovered before I snapped the photo. Oh well.
I loved this dessert, but I suspect that not everyone will. You have to pick your crowd. It tastes like actual cherries and wine, not cherry pie filling. It comes nowhere near the sweetness level that most Americans have come to expect when cherries are on the menu. Rather, it’s subtle in that beguiling way that leaves you wanting just a little bit more. Just a little.