Basil Varieties: Poached Pears in Basil Syrup

| June/July 2010

uncommon basil 2

Photo by Howard Lee Puckett

Serves 4

• 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
• 6 cups water
• 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
• 1⁄4 cup firmly packed ‘Dark Opal’ basil
• 4 firm pears, peeled and cored with stems intact
• ‘Dark Opal’ basil leaves, turbinado sugar, sanding sugar for garnish

1. Combine sugar, water and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Stir in basil.

2. Cut a thin slice from bottom of each pear, allowing pears to stand. Add pears to syrup mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until pears are tender. Remove pears to a plate for serving. Pour syrup through a wire-mesh strainer into a large bowl, discarding basil leaves. Return syrup to saucepan; bring to a boil, reduce heat and boil gently for 20 minutes, or until syrup thickens. Pour sauce over pears.

Note: You could also use ‘Cinnamon’ basil for this recipe.

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