Blanching the basil leaves before blending the sorbet base gives you an intensely colored and flavored sorbet. Be sure to freeze it immediately after blending or the color will fade.
• 3¼ cups water
• 2 cups basil leaves, gently packed
• 1 cup fine sugar
• ¼ cup fresh lime juice
1. Bring water to a boil in small saucepan. Add basil leaves; cook 10 seconds. Drain and plunge basil into cold water. Drain again.
2. Puree sugar, water, lime juice and blanched basil leaves in blender on high speed for about 1 minute, or until you have a smooth, bright-green liquid. Pour through fine-meshed strainer.
3. Freeze immediately in an ice cream maker until slushy-firm. Scoop into a storage container and freeze until firm enough to scoop.
Jerry Traunfeld, author of The Herbal Kitchen (William Morrow, 2005), received the James Beard Award for Best American Chef of the Northwest in 2000.
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