Please check “Special Instructions” category below for inspection of fresh basil.
1 cup water
1 cup cherry or cherry-blend juice
3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
4 ripe fresh peaches (1 unpeeled and finely chopped, 3 peeled and sliced)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, or to taste
3-inch strip lemon zest
1/2 cup pitted and halved ripe sweet Bing, Rainier, and/or Queen Anne cherries cherries on the stem and tiny fresh basil sprigs for garnish
In a saucepan bring the water, cherry juice, basil leaves, chopped peach (with its pit), sugar, and lemon zest to boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust sugar, adding more if desired. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Add the remaining 3 sliced peaches and cherries to the warm syrup and let stand until room temperature; then cover and chill. Serve chilled, garnished with cherries and basil sprigs.Insect Infestation: Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of Basil and a variet of other fresh herbs. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water. Vegetable spinners, power hoses, and light boxes are not always available in the home. We therefore recommend the following alternate procedure. Recommendation: In order to determine if a particular bunch of herbs is infested prior to washing, bang it several times over a white cloth. This is most important when checking oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. If only one or two insects are found proceed with the steps below. If three or more insects are detected in a particular bunch of herbs it should not be used. Inspection: 1. Soak herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, care must be taken to thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.) 2. Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs. 3. Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs. 4. Check both sides of each leaf under direct light. 5. If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs. 6. If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded.