This month I was assigned Chef in Disguise written by Sawsan. She is an orthodontist and a very passionate food explorer. She has loads of beautifully photographed recipes on her site, her recipe index is extensive and made us drool! We had a LOT of trouble choosing what we wanted to make this month, because Sawsan has so many wonderful things I would like to try. We considered making Ciabatta steak sandwich with rosemary garlic potatoes, Watermelon strawberry pineapple frappe, Minty Watermelon Popsicles, Hibiscus Tea, Turkish Delight “Lokum” and Paris brest (you have got to go look at her photos… omg!).
We finally settled on her Homemade Strawberry Syrup which probably seems like a simple choice, and it was, BUT it was because this year the garden is once again, overflowing with strawberries and I don’t want to waste them. This seemed like the perfect, extremely easy, life extending recipe for these strawberries. And it was perfect. And delicious. I may nor may not have licked the spoon on more than one occasion. I love fresh strawberries. So much.
I only made one slight addition to the recipe, and that was to add Basil for a little added flavor, and because well, my basil plants are thriving at this point too, and you can only freeze so much for later. We made about 3 or 4 batches of this, and it lasts in the fridge for about two weeks. We did freeze a batch. It froze well, and while it was a little thinner consistency when it thawed, we were able to use it for most of the things I mention below.
- 2 cups strawberries
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup water
- Hull the strawberries.
- In a large bowl, slice the strawberries in half and then mash them.
- How you do this, will determine the outcome of your sauce. If you want some chunky strawberry visible, only mash a bit. If you want it smooth, use a blender or food processor to blend. I wanted it pretty smooth.
- In a pot on the stove, add the mashed or pureed strawberries, basil leaves whole, sugar and ¾ cup of water.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat for ten minutes. Stir occasionally.
- When you have 5 minutes left in the cooking time, dissolve the corn starch in the ¼ cup of water and add it to the syrup while stirring. This will thicken the sauce and give it a beautiful consistency.
- Store the left over sauce in a clean dry jar in your fridge, it will last up to two weeks.
10 Ideas for Using this Awesome Strawberry Basil Syrup
- Pancakes, Waffles and French Toast – As a syrup for your breakfast, this is incredible. Use it alone or drizzle a little and then add your maple syrup. Either way, it is fantastic.
- Smoothies and Milkshakes – If you want some strawberry flavor in your smoothie or milkshake, add some syrup, blend and taste. Add more if you want more.
- Cocktails – Add some Strawberry Basil Syrup to your Mojitos, swirl it through your Margaritas, Juleps are awesome with it. So many delicious things!
- Oatmeal – Swirl some of the Strawberry Basil Syrup into your Oatmeal to give it a little extra pop in the morning!
- Cake and Cupcakes – Whether it is sponge cake, angel food cake or simply a moist decadent chocolate cake, this syrup goes perfect with cake!
- Ice Cream – A great topping by itself or with chocolate syrup. It is like a sundae without all the extra work.
- Meat, Fish or Poultry Glaze – I know it sounds strange, but fruit gives meat a wonderful flavor and with the combination of Strawberry and Basil, you cannot go wrong with adding some to your meal tonight.
- Yogurt – Swirl it through your yogurt, or use it as a layer in parfaits. Delish!
- Salads – It makes a wonderful, flavorful dressing for any salad, but tastes absolutely amazing with Spinach! Yum!
- Vegetables and Beans – Swirl some through baked beans, or stir some into a vegetable dish for a unique, delicious flavor that will add something different to your meal.