I love herbs, flowers, and vegetable gardens. But a green thumb? No luck there. We keep cacti at home, and fresh flowers that never last more than a few days. But once in a while, especially when summer is just so green and vibrant, I’ll take home an herb plant, determined to keep it alive and growing. I’ve yet to succeed but that doesn’t stop me from trying. This is our basil plant, two days after I bought it from the Greenmarket.
“You need to use it up,” Pierre said.
I shook my head, “it will live! It’s going through a down stage, but things will perk up.”
“No really, this one isn’t going to make it either.”
A day later, when it was all but black and wilted, I faced the facts. Better to use what was left now, than to let the basil die without a single dish to show for my efforts. I made us pasta using sweet plum tomatoes and this recipe from Scarpetta. Two nights in a row. And then we were tired of pasta.
Look in the fridge: odds and ends and a dozen red plums. What to do? A bit of flipping through cookbooks and searching on the web left me with two ideas: Plums Poached in Basil Syrup…and…Plum and Basil Cocktail.
Diced plums + basil + gin + basil syrup + lime + seltzer. I used this recipe from Saveur as the foundation, tweaking to suit personal tastes.