So my garden is finally starting to grow. It feels like its particularly late this year, but I could just be crazy. Compared to Atlanta and Baton Rouge, my garden in New York is definitely a lot slower. (The rule of thumb for our area is to wait until Mother’s Day to plant…Mother’s Day!) Then on top of that, we’ve had a ton of rain for the last month…which means very little sunshine for the garden. But nevertheless, the plants are finally showing noticeable growth and the herbs are just getting large enough to use. I noticed a couple of the basil leaves were ready, so I started to think about possible basil dishes. (Since my wife is Italian, it really isn’t hard to find a use for basil in our house!) But I was in the mood for something light and summery, so I decided to whip up a quick batch of Sparkling Lemon Basil Sorbet. This sorbet was tart, but still quite refreshing…the perfect after-dinner treat for a hot summer’s day!
I know you might be thinking that basil is a strange flavor to include in a dessert…but it works! The basil steeps in the hot liquid for about 18-20 minutes, at which point you remove and discard it. I find that this sorbet has a bright, in-your-face lemon taste with just a slight hint of basil. In fact, you might not even recognize the basil if you didn’t know it was in there. You can definitely tell there is another layer of flavor…but it’s not overwhelming. (If you really wanted to boost the basil, you could always put more leaves in. However, I wouldn’t steep the leaves for longer than about 20 minutes, or the sorbet may start to take on a bitter taste.) And another bonus to this dessert is that it is fat-free! (But it does include a decent amount of sugar, so you still can’t eat the entire container in one sitting…even though you will totally want to!)