Valentine’s Day Strawberry Gelato Recipe

by Lael Hazan on February 13, 2011

In Italy, il giorno della festa degli innamorati or Valentine’s day is considered to be an imported American holiday.  But that doesn’t mean it isn’t celebrated, particularly with chocolates, roses, or in this case, strawberry gelato.  Especially in the area where we have our cooking school, near Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet, all expressions of love are observed and venerated.

Is love a tender thing? It is too rough, too rude, too boisterous; and it pricks like thorn. William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 1.4

Juliet's balcony in Verona

In Italy, Valentine’s day is exclusively for lovers.  It isn’t a holiday where children give Valentine’s day cards to their classmates and teachers.  Rather, in some cities, there is a tradition of young unmarried girls getting up before dawn and believing that the first unmarried man they set their eyes on will become their beloved.

I’m fortunate that I’ve been married to my beloved for 13 years now.  Although we don’t always go out to dinner for Valentine’s day we usually do celebrate it, mostly as a family.

Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight!/ For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 1.5

We are the parents of two girls, so Valentine’s day has become a BIG deal in our house, and the day is all dressed up in pink, our youngest child, Michela’s, favorite color.  Recently, Giuliano has been traveling a lot, so for this Valentine’s day we will stay home and celebrate together as a family.  While we still haven’t completely figured out the menu, the dessert will be strawberry gelato.

Gabriella next to Juliet's statue in Verona

Gelato is a bit different from American ice cream.  It is made with less sugar and is often made with milk rather than cream.  It has a more intense flavor.  Italians like their flavors to “pop”, melon tastes like melon, not melon and cream.  In this case, the strawberry flavor is intensely delicious, perfect to cleanse one’s mouth for a more intimate Valentine’s Day celebration.

Good night, good night!  Parting is such sweet sorrow, That I shall say good night till it be morrow – William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 2.2

Strawberry Gelato

© 2011 by Giuliano Hazan

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Total time from start to finish: about 1 hour

Makes about 1 quart

¾ pound fresh strawberries

¾ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup water

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

1.  Remove the stems and leaves from the berries and rinse in cold water.

2.  Place the berries and the sugar in a food processor and process until liquified.  Add the water and run the processor until all the ingredients are mixed together well.

3.  Whip the cream with a whisk until it begins to thicken and becomes the consistency of buttermilk.  Put the cream and the liquefied strawberries in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

4.  Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer’s directions.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Kathleen September 2, 2011 at 5:23 pm

This looks and sounds wonderful . . . just finished the chocolate gelato and it was out of this world . . . can hardly wait to try this strawberry recipe!

vanillasugarblog March 14, 2011 at 12:43 am

ahhh gelato how i love thee. this christmas hubby & i went to foxwoods casino in ct. the restaurants there are all 5 star, and let me tell you i had the best gelato ever. it is now 3 months later and i still crave it. it was a peppermint gelato. so smooth, rich. oh i just want to try and recreate it at home. i will save your recipe for summer.

Tanvi@SinfullySpicy March 3, 2011 at 11:30 am

Hi Lael,
Just found your blog via Meeta K. So glad I did.Love the writing.
I am always on a lookout for strawberry recipes.I m going to whip up this icecream first thing in summers

Amy | She Wears Many Hats February 28, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Oh me, oh my! Can’t wait to try this with local fresh strawberries.

Kulsum at JourneyKitchen February 20, 2011 at 12:24 pm

my icecream maker is on the way and this is the first thing I want to make!

P.S.- Just found your blog and wonder where I was, we have many common friends :-)

Kevin (Closet Cooking) February 15, 2011 at 7:45 pm

That is some amazing looking strawberry gelato and it would be perfect for Valentines day!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella February 15, 2011 at 5:28 pm

That is amazing, thankyou for that picture of Juliet’s balcony! And your strawberry gelato simply sings with flavour! :D

Krista February 15, 2011 at 1:09 pm

I’m so glad that you have a such a good man to share your life with. :-) I love gelato and melon is my absolute favorite! But I will have to try strawberry now. :-)

SMITH BITES February 14, 2011 at 2:17 pm

oh yes, this is such a lovely post Lael – the Shakespeare quotes, the family traditions and of course the strawberry gelato! i’ll let the others have their chocolates but give me liberty or give me this gelato! i do believe i have all the ingredients on hand so i’m heading to the kitchen now and will surprise The Professor! ahhhhh romance

foodwanderings February 14, 2011 at 9:27 am

Wonderful ode to Valentine’s Day Lael. Love the recipe, A strawberry gelato is a way I would love to celebrate . Wanted to drop by and wish you and your family a wonderful Valentine’s Day today!!

Jamie February 14, 2011 at 7:07 am

What a lovely post! Ah, I think we are all romantics! Although I bake something every Valentine’s Day (which, I must add, would go divinely, lovingly with this beautiful strawberry gelato!) we never really celebrate. Well, once in a while JP does something special for me only because he knows that this American has a soft heart for things romantic. Our sons? Don’t even know if they realize it is Valentine’s Day! Hope yours is filled with love and romance! xo

Kit February 14, 2011 at 5:17 am

Valentine’s Day was never a big deal for us either, but now my girls have taken an interest and went off to school dressed in red and white – the South African thing for Valentines Day – and clutching cards for their teachers! When I was growing up it was all about hoping for an anonymous card from some secret admirer… which never came! Much more fun this way and strawberry ice-cream would definitely make it special! I’ll have to try this recipe when our strawberries are in season again.

Bren February 13, 2011 at 11:19 pm

how lovely and refreshing. the best gelato e sorbetto I ever had was in Piazza Sempione ( I believe it was that one)… this seems like stands rigt next to it!

Olga @ MangoTomato February 13, 2011 at 10:39 pm

this looks delicious! have a very sweet celebration with your family.

Katie@Cozydelicious February 13, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Your gelato is so beautiful – and so pink! Fresh strawberries are hard to come by in the middle of winter but I have some frozen ones that I stuck in the back of the freezer in June… would the recipe work with frozen berries?

Lael Hazan February 15, 2011 at 7:17 am

Our family picked so many strawberries when we went to the farm that we too have strawberries in the freezer. We recently made this with frozen berries and it was equally delicious!

tasteofbeirut February 13, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Cannot think of a better flavor for a gelato for this occasion!

El February 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm

This recipe looks like heaven. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!

Rosa February 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm

A divine gelato! Perfect to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Have a great day tomorrow.



Lora February 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Wow. Delicious looking gelato! Perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Sara February 13, 2011 at 9:45 am

Wow, now this gelato screams Amore! I love reading your post about Italy and now I have this need to go back and visit Verona!
Buon San Valentino!

Brian @ A Thought For Food February 13, 2011 at 9:41 am

What a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Your strawberry gelato looks delightful… and utterly romantic.

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