A Delicious Basil Recipe

basil gelatoOur 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?



  1. […] sugar flavored with lots of whirled up basil from the garden. You can read the recipe through the Notes from Northern Gardener blog. The one problem with the gelato was the color was just a bit too close to Army green for my […]

  2. […] harvest. It pairs with tomatoes as deliciously as strawberries pair with rhubarb and can even be used in desserts! While northern gardeners love the traditional sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum), basil downy mildew […]

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