Fresh herbs bring something special to a meal in its flavour, colour and the way it can highlight the taste of a meat or vegetable dish. Pairing herbs with fruit is something I’ve only done in salsas, so coriander plus fruit plus some other things and it’s quickly finished and delicious.
When I first arrived in Geneva, I was wandering around near our neighborhood and saw a small shop with a sign in the window about their sorbet for sale. I went inside and in the middle of the usual summer flavours, there was a fraises et basilic, strawberry and basil. It’s the one I chose, and I ate it with delight all the way home. The taste was wonderful and summery, fresh, and the basil brought a beautiful flavour to the strawberry. That was almost two years ago, and I have never tried to replicate the experience, and I have not been back to the shop.
But last week I knew I was going to be making brunch for a big group of people on the weekend, and I saw this recipe for a strawberry and basil syrup. I remembered the shop, the sorbet and my walk home gobbling it up, and I knew I had to try this syrup. (Tomorrow, I’ll share the french toast recipe.)
The recipe is easy enough to follow (go to Confections of a Foodie Bride for the short details), and as she says, the strawberries and basil roasting in the oven was delicious to smell. The finished product was a great syrup for the french toast (it would work well for pancakes or waffles for breakfast or brunch, or use it as a syrup over a dessert). I wanted a stronger basil taste in the syrup, and it wasn’t there. That was a bit disappointing, but in the future I’ll try it again with more basil leaves or perhaps find a way to puree a bit of the basil and mix it in with the syrup. We’ll see.