Red, Hot, and Cool Strawberries

Active Time: 25 MINTotal Time50 MIN
Yield: Serves : 4

The chile-induced heat in this dish doesn’t kick in until the last moment, creating a gentle afterburn that is cooled by sweet strawberries and a smooth bed of tangy cream. Look for chiles de árbol at your local Latin grocer.


  • 1 chile de árbol or similar chile, stemmed and seeded
  • 7 ounces strawberries, hulled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 2/3 cup cream cheese, softened
  • Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

How to Make It

Step 1    

Heat a small skillet over high; add chile, and cook, tossing occasionally, until toasted and a nutty aroma is released, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from skillet, and crush in a mortar and pestle.

Step 2    

Stir together crushed chile, strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil over high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and syrupy, about 15 minutes. (Strawberries should mostly keep their shape; if they start collapsing, remove from heat sooner.) Remove from heat, and let strawberry mixture cool completely, about 25 minutes.

Step 3    

While strawberry mixture cools, whisk together yogurt and cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Step 4    

Divide yogurt mixture among 4 bowls, and top evenly with strawberry mixture. Garnish with mint leaves, and serve.

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