When fruit is as good as it's been this summer, it's a crime to do much to it, so I came up with this simple dessert -- it's sort of like a cheese course and dessert all in one, with a mix of contrasting flavors and textures. Ripe apricot halves are barely kissed by the grill, and then topped with an airy spoonful of ricotta and basil and a drizzle of sherry vinegar syrup (technically a gastrique, if you want to get fancy). Dessert in a flash. —Merrill Stubbs
Combine the sugar, sherry vinegar and 6 tablespoons cold water in a small, heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for about five minutes, or until syrupy. Set aside to cool.
Whisk together the ricotta and mascarpone in a small bowl until lightened, about 30 seconds. Stir in the basil. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Heat a grill so that it's very hot. Halve the apricots and brush the cut sides lightly with oil. Place the apricots cut-side down on the grill and cook for a couple of minutes, until char marks appear. Gently flip the apricots and cook for about 30 second on the other side, just to warm the fruit through. Remove to a platter.
Serve the apricots while still warm (3 halves per person), with a dollop of ricotta and a drizzle of the vinegar syrup.