Foods of Summer: A New Leaf (May, 1999)


  Balsamic Vinegar-Tossed Strawberries and Green-Basil Salad with Opal-Basil Granita

The Chef
GILLES DELALOY of Cena

Servings
Serves four.

Ingredients
Candied basil leaves:
16 basil leaves
1/4 cup sugar

Opal-basil granita:
1/2 cup sugar
1 bunch opal basil, leaves removed and roughly torn into pieces, about 4 ounces
2 lemons, juiced

Strawberry juice:
2 lemons, juiced
1/4 pound strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar

Tossed strawberries:
24 strawberries, hulled
3 to 4 tablespoons sugar
8 green-basil and 4 opal-basil leaves, broken into pieces
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Cooking Instructions
Candied basil leaves:
Brush clean basil leaves lightly with water and place facedown into sugar. Dry on sheet pan, sugar-side-up, for 2 to 3 hours.

Opal-basil granita:
Bring 3 1/2 cups water and the sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Add the torn opal-basil leaves, cover pan, and infuse for 15 minutes. Strain into a bowl and place over ice until cool. Add lemon juice, pour into a shallow container, and place into freezer. Every 20 minutes, stir the granita with a fork as it starts to set, about two hours.

Strawberry juice:
Cut the strawberries into quarters and place in a bowl, add the sugar and lemon juice, cover with plastic, and set aside at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. Cook, covered with plastic, in a bain-marie set over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Strain through a fine sieve. Do not press down on the strawberries, as this will make the juice cloudy.

Tossed strawberries:
Place the strawberries into bowl and toss gently with the sugar. Add the green-basil leaves and allow to sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vinegar, and toss gently again. Set aside to marinate for 3 minutes. Place the strawberries in a soup bowl, and drizzle the balsamic vinegar remaining in the bowl over the strawberries. Place candied basil leaves around the strawberries. Pour a little strawberry juice in a glass, and top with the opal-basil granita. Garnish with broken opal-basil leaves and serve alongside whole strawberries.







 
 
   
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