Elegance can be so simple!

Michael Rossi making Zabaglione

Zabaglione [zah-bahl-YOH-nay]

Zabaglione is an Italian dessert custard made by whisking together egg yolks, wine (traditionally MARSALA) and sugar.

The whisking is done over simmering water so that the egg yolks cook as they thicken into a light, foamy custard. Zabaglione is traditionally made just before serving. The warm froth can be served either as a dessert by itself or as a sauce over cake, ice cream or pastry and usually served with ladyfinger cookies.

In this recipe it is served with fresh California strawberries.
Source: Copyright (c) 1995 by Barron's Educational Series, from The New Food Lover's Companion, Second Edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst

California Strawberries

If all the strawberries produced in California this year were laid berry to berry, they'd wrap around the world 15 times. That's enough strawberries to provide every U.S. household with 12 pint baskets.

Growing & Harvesting

Strawberries are grown as an annual crop in California and grown from nursery stock. The plants are replaced annually following the harvesting period and lay dormant in production fields through the winter. Nursery plants destined for strawberry production fields are planted in October or November for winter planting or in late July through September for summer planting.

All California strawberries are hand picked to ensure only the best quality berries are harvested. Strawberry plants continually produce new fruit throughout the production cycle, and during peak season are harvested every three days. Of the 1.4 billion pounds of California strawberries produced each year, approximately 75 percent are harvested for the fresh market, while 25 percent are frozen for the processed market. Fresh strawberries are rushed to coolers, where huge fans pull out the field heat, and then shipped within 24 hours on refrigerated trucks or air freighted to their final destination. Strawberries selected for processing are gently washed, sorted and frozen quickly to ensure the best flavor and appearance is retained. Berries are sliced, pureed or kept whole for freezing.
Source: Monteray Bay Strawberry Festival

with Fresh Strawberries

From Chef Michael Rossi

Served with fresh strawberries


1 pound - Strawberries
4 each - Large Eggs Yolks
1/4 cup - Granulated white sugar
1/4 cup - Dry Marsala Wine


Place the egg yolks, sugar and Marsala in a non-reactive bowl on top of a double boiler set over simmering water, and whisk continuously until mixture is fluffy, pale and creamy and has a thick and foamy consistency.

Remove from heat.

Pour into 4 martini glasses or dessert bowls.

Add strawberries.

For a cold version, whisk 1 cup of heavy cream to medium peeks and fold into Zabaglione after mixture is cooled over an ice bath.

Serves 4

The strawberry: "Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did."
Dr William Butler, 17th century English writer

The strawberry "is the wonder of all the Fruits growing naturally in those parts...In some parts where the Natives have planted, I have many times seen as many as would fill a good ship, within a few miles compasse."
Roger Williams, founder of Providence in 1636, 'Key into the Language of America'

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Interesting Facts!

Marsala Wine

In the green countryside and among the ancient "bagli" (typical ancient cottages) long vine’s rows rise and develop.

From the ancient cultivation of white berry grapes and black berry ones like the cataratto, grillo and inzolia (specific names of different grapes) a noble wine called "Marsala" was born.

Discovered by chance by the Englishman John Woodhouse during one of his numerous voyages, Marsala wine was sent to England to be tasted by the English aristocracy who appreciated its taste which was fruit-like, dry and even sweet, its amber-like and warm colour, its intense perfume.

Nowadays, Marsala wine has been recognized as a DOC wine (DOC is a mark certifying the high quality of this wine), and is produced in many cellars and firms located in the province territory.

Marsala wine can be drunk as appetizer and a dessert wine, or, between the meals, as a "meditation wine".

For these reasons it must be present in the cellars of every good wine’s lovers and experts."

Source: Viaggimondo