I adore tomato, mozzarella, and basil salad. A couple of weeks ago, I made one. I had bought a huge bunch of basil (I don't have it growing in my yard) and wondered what to do with the rest of it. I couldn't just throw it out, and basil turns very quickly.
I went online and searched for some kind of sauce to make and stumbled on a basil clear syrup. Interesting, I thought. What would I put it on? There was a recipe to add it to peaches and ice cream. Honestly I wasn't bowled over by the idea. But I made the syrup and set it in the refrigerator while I contemplated the idea.
A week later, as I thought about what I would serve guests for dessert, the recipe came back to me, and I thought why not? Something new. Be daring. It is, after all, August. I have nothing better to do than to be daring.
So I made some fresh mascarpone ice cream.
I bought some peaches and nectarines, but before I announced my dessert plans, my guests ate all the peaches, so I opted for nectarines, and put together a very simple and delicious dessert. The basil has just the right about of zest to zing up something as plain as ice cream and fruit. And it was so pretty.
So when in doubt, take the risk. Be daring. Be bold. What is the worst that could happen? You could pour it down the disposal and be left with ice cream and fruit and NO SAUCE. Add a slice of cheese. Not bad.
SIMPLE BASIL SYRUP
10-12 leaves basil, washed (about 2 cups)
1 cup sugar
1 cups water
In a saucepan, combine sugar and water. Stir to combine. Turn on heat to medium-high and boil for 3 to 5 minutes, until syrup is thicker but not yet starting to turn color. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
Pour warm syrup in a blender. Throw in basil leaves. Pulse once quickly for larger chunks of basil; blend for a few seconds for more of a green syrup. (It may look a little funky, but man, does it taste good.)
(Can refrigerate sauce and use later.)
ICE CREAM SUNDAE WITH NECTARINES & BASIL SYRUP
1 scoop of ice cream per serving
½ nectarine (or peach) in slices per serving
2-3 Tablespoons Basil syrup
Scoop ice cream onto a plate, arrange nectarines around it, top with syrup.
MASCARPONE ICE CREAM
I use: Cuisinart Counter top Mixer. EASY, PEASY.
3 egg yolks
1 c. sugar
1 c. half and half
1 c. whipping cream
1 c. (8 oz.) mascarpone
1 tsp. G-F vanilla
Stir together yolks and sugar and cook in saucepan, 30 seconds on low.
Add half and half, cook 1 minute on low.
Stir and cook 1 more minute.
Stir and cook 1 additional minute. [Total 3 ½ minutes.]
Add whipping cream, mascarpone, and vanilla.
Stir and let cool to room temperature.
Chill 1-3 hours in refrigerator
Start counter top mixer. Add cream mixture. Whip 20-25 minutes
Pour into clean containers and freeze.
Say cheese!!!* * * * * * **