Foodie Finds: Odd but delicious summer pairings

Basil ice cream

My good friend, Peg, and I ate lunch last week at The Bristol in Kansas City. One of their salad offerings was a tomato salad with arugula, fresh mozzarella, balsamic vinegar and basil ice cream! We were intrigued. We ordered it and were delighted with a perfect summer salad.

steeping basil in milk for ice cream

Peg said she had made basil ice cream before and used the recipe from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz. It is a custard style ice cream with egg yolks. I tried the no-churn version I found online since I didn’t have an ice cream freezer. I am sure the custard-base ice cream is much richer but I thought the no-churn version was just fine. For my salad, I garnished the fresh tomatoes with pea shoots, which you can find at the Monday Farmers Market at the library. The stand also has other beautiful micro greens I am addicted to! Check them out! Of course, my amazing homegrown tomatoes came from the Monday market as well. Such great finds right now!

A few tweaks

my basil ice cream salad

I did not tint my basil ice cream green so it kind of has a light tan color to it. I think I will add just a tiny drop of green food coloring next time. I also strained the milk basil mixture through a fine sieve after blending. I then added about a tablespoon of the basil solids back into the ice cream and stirred once in a while as it was freezing. Here is another custard ice cream recipe from The Food Network website that looks easy and good. I think I may need to invest in a tabletop ice cream freezer. I have fond memories of cranking the old White Mountain freezer in the summer with my family. But I think I’m past cranking and would find it to be a workout rather than nostalgic.

The most refreshing gazpacho

The other summer recipe I love that seems like an odd combination is peach and tomato gazpacho. Peg served this to me several years ago. Now it’s a summer staple when the peaches and tomatoes are at their peak. It’s an old recipe from Epicurious magazine printed in 2005 that is so tasty and refreshing! Don’t forget to garnish with the peach and tomato salsa. It is simple to put together since almost everything just goes in the blender! Served cold, it is a perfect summer soup. Not only do peaches and tomatoes make a great gazpacho, they make a great salad as well. Add the basil ice cream right in the middle, if you would like.

Don’t be afraid of these strange mash-ups – give them a try!

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I’m a library volunteer and a community volunteer. I share my home with a little dog with a big attitude. I have two grown daughters, one in the food industry and the other is a veterinarian. My two granddaughters are learning to love food adventures with Nana.