Last week, I talked about very green pasta salad, the first in a series of posts about how I’m trying to find uses for the huge basil bush that is taking over my yard. Today we go a little further afield, away from “comfortable” and into “unusual:” basil ice cream.
I got the idea from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at Home, my favorite ice cream cookbook ever and one that’s been featured here on FoodLush before. I followed her recipe to the letter (right down to the inclusion of praline pine nuts and oh my STARS those little nuggets are insanely tasty) but I think the technique would work with any base ice cream recipe you prefer. Basically, you make vanilla ice cream except don’t add the vanilla. Once you have cooked the custard, tear up a handful of basil leaves, toss them in, and let them steep while the custard cools. Before freezing, strain out the basil leaves and voila- beautifully basil-scented ice cream.
It sounds weird, you guys, but trust: it is delicious. The basil is herbal but light and subtle. It is not-too-sweet, but doesn’t come across as weirdly savory or anything– it just tastes green, if that makes any sense. If you have a bunch of basil and you’re looking to experiment, I highly encourage you to check it out: it’s a perfect unusual flavor for the end of a summer barbecue.
(Photo from me)