Our Northern Gardener copy editor Julie is a basil fiend. She grows lots of basil and freezes bags and bags of pesto for winter eating. But sometimes, even a noted pesto aficionado wants to do something different with her basil stash.
Searching for a new take on her favorite herb, Julie found this basil recipe online for a basil gelato. The recipe involves infusing a rich custard mixture (eggs, cream, milk, sugar) with about 2 cups of basil leaves. The mixture is cooked and strained and then frozen. The recipe recommends using an ice cream maker, but Julie does it the old-fashioned way, freezing the mixture in a glass dish and taking the dish out of the freezer every 30 minutes for a stir. The result was a creamy, smooth, herby wonder.
The one thing about the basil gelato is that it looked, um, a bit more olive in color rather than the brighter green of basil in the garden. Of course, you could add a drop of green food coloring to brighten it. Or, just taste a teaspoonful. That will be enough to keep you eating.
Another option would be to cover the gelato with a bright red strawberry syrup for a fresh from the garden sundae.
What’s your favorite way to use basil?