Well, as summer draws to an end so does the first crop of edible balcony basil I planted as a companion plant for my tomatoes last September. Time to harvest!
Last year I came across a few recipes for an unusual basil ice cream I’ve been itching to try out. Unlike traditional ice creams this recipe does not start with a custard base and uses greek yoghurt and mascarpone cheese. It’s a simple recipe but it does make it easier if you have an ice-cream machine.
First I needed a big bunch of fresh basil….
well-washed making sure no caterpillars were lurking….
Recipe: Basil Ice Cream (makes 1 litre)
1 large bunch of basil leaves, picked no stems (about 80 g)
250g mascarpone cheese
1.25kg thick Greek-style yoghurt
Put the basil leaves and the sugar in a food processor and blend until you have a coarse green powder. Add the yoghurt and the mascarpone and pulse blend until the mixture in smooth.
Put mixture into an ice cream machine and churn for about 20 minutes or according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Leave to firm in the freeezer for an hour or so. Serve with fresh basil leaves.
I found this ice cream quite a revelation. Tangy and herbaceous. Quite delicious really. It is not one to shovel down while sprawled on the couch with a DVD. More a dinner party palate refresher after a spicy curry or Asian meal.
An exquisite way to feature the aniseed flavours of fresh basil leaves.