I’m always thinking about food, at least new items for breakfast here a the William Miller House Bed and Breakfast. Last week I was out planting some vegetables and herbs for the season and while planting the basil it occurred to me that I always plant too much basil. While I do use some for pesto for our vegan guests I rarely make it for Pat and myself, mostly because Pat does not really care for it.
So what to do this summer when the basil is in full swing? How about a new first course, so with the basil I have on hand, store bought, I embark on a crazy idea, making a basil mousse, now I do not think the idea of making mousse from herbs is new, but it is for me and our guests as well. The dish is actually a Basil white-chocolate mousse over a layer of strawberry (did I mention that its strawberry season here in Virginia) greek yogurt. After they finished the dish and licked the glasses I suggested that they have the honor or coming up with a name and the name they chose was a “June Bug”, sort of a play on a grasshopper, the cocktail made with creme de menthe.
Basil white-chocolate mousse layered over strawberry yogurt (June Bug)
The process. Because I knew that this would not be something to whip up in the morning I decided to make it the night before. Besides the gelatin in the mousse really needed time to set up.
The first step was to puree some of the fresh strawberries that we had picked at the local berry farm. I always lean towards fresh local ingredients if at all possible and it is the beginning of the strawberry season here in Virginia. Following the pureeing of the berries I grabbed some of my favorite Greek Yogurt and added some of the pureed strawberry to the yogurt and stirred it to combine and placed it in the bottom of 4 - 9.25 ounce martini glasses. I then place the glasses in to the fridge.
The next step was to make the mousse. I grabbed a pot and put some heavy cream into the pot and then brought it up to a slight simmer and added the basil leaves and removed it from the heat. I allowed the mixture to steep for 10-minutes, then pureed in my Vita-prep. I got mine several years ago when Jimmy Snead of the restaurant The Frog and the Redneck closed his restaurant and was selling of his equipment. (more…)