I guess summer is to blame for the fact that I haven’t had a cooking post in over two months. But the fact of the matter is when the days are long, the temperatures warm, and things like swimming and grilling come calling, I just don’t want to be “concocting creations” in the kitchen outside of the requisite make dinner, etc. In non-exciting news, I did finally purchase an ice-cream maker (something I said I was going to do every summer but never did) and made some smores ice cream a couple of weeks ago (well, from a starter pack. I hope to make my own from scratch very soon).
Every year I buy a ton of herbs that I plant in pots on my deck and every year, I use them maybe a couple of times. Well, this summer I have tried to be better about using them more with my cooking along with mint for mojitos, of course. Although it’s quite easy to find recipes that incorporate herbs into savory dishes, it’s somewhat harder on the sweet side outside of herbs like mint and lavender. But never one to disregard the combination of sweet WITH savory, I came across a delectable strawberry shortcake recipe, one that actually includes basil of all things.
While I (briefly) considered going the pre-made shortcake route, I decided no, I needed to man up and make my own from scratch and honestly I’m glad I did. Unlike the ones that my supermarket sells in the produce section, shortcake rounds that look too artificial and sugary, these were pretty perfect and just what I envision when I think of shortcakes (they were definitely of the light, fluffy, and crumbly variety, almost resembling biscuits).
The most time consuming part of the recipe was obviously making the dough from scratch. Otherwise, making the macerated berries and berry compote was pretty simple. I have to say the incorporation of the basil gave the berries a wonderfully distinct and slightly acidic taste (in a good way). Basil can have such a strong taste to it but when paired with the berries and the other ingredients, it meshed so well.
I can’t think of anything that evokes summer more than fresh fruit and herbs and hopefully this is a recipe you’ll try out soon yourself. It’s a perfect dessert to make if you’re having a large group since you can make the dough in advance and the recipe also yields a large amount.
The Red Headed Traveler’s Tip
To experiment even more-you can always make a berry shortcake (combination of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries).