With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, it seems everyone is scrambling to find the perfect sweet for their sweetie. I did the same, briefly considering breaking my diet to make a rich, chocolately dessert that would be well worth the guilt that would inevitably ensue. But I’m happy to say that another voice won out. The angel on my shoulder. It was saying that if I really love my hubby, I’ll make sure he sticks to his diet too. Because then he’ll be around for longer. And I do love him.
So I was good. And I have to tell you that I don’t feel deprived at all. Because this dessert well and truly lives up to its name: parfait, meaning ‘perfect’ in French. Amazingly sweet and flavourful, despite having no added sugar at all, with a tantalizing mix of textures and an after-effect that’s the complete opposite of chocolate guilt. This will leave you feeling fresh and energized and ready to enjoy the rest of your lives together. What better way to say ‘I love you’ than that?
Chunks of mango and whole pistachios are layered with an orange blossom water-scented Greek-style yogurt (or a soft lebneh) and topped with fresh pomegranate. You can, of course, mix it up and throw in whatever you have on hand. If you need it sweeter, mix a little honey in with the yogurt, or just drizzle a bit on top. And don’t think this is just for dessert – it makes a gorgeous breakfast too!
- 1½ cups (375 ml) Greek-style yogurt
- 1 tsp orange blossom water (optional)
- 1 mango, diced
- 2 handfuls pistachios, shelled
- 2 handfuls pomegranate seeds (about ¼ of a pomegranate)
- Mix the orange blossom water with the yogurt and return to the fridge to chill while you prepare the other ingredients.
- To dice the mango, cut the sides off, lengthwise along the seed, then score each side without piercing the skin. Flip each half ‘inside-out’ (as pictured above), then cut each chunk off at the base.
- Divide the mango between two dessert bowls (or martini glasses).
- Add a few spoonfuls of the yogurt mix, spreading evenly to cover the mango.
- Divide the pistachios between the dishes, trying to keep as many close to the edge as possible (for visual effect).
- Top with remaining yogurt and then decorate with pomegranate seeds. (To get the hearts, I placed a heart-shaped cookie-cutter on the yogurt and dropped the seeds into it.)
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill until you’re ready to enjoy. I wouldn’t recommend leaving it longer than a few hours, as the orange blossom water will separate and the pistachios will go a bit soft.