Man's Vantage Point + [vegan]

Herbal Vegan Ice Creams

One of my favorite things about summer is having boxes and boxes of herbs growing on the porches, ready to snip and pluck and enliven dinner with their presence. This year my container herb garden expanded with the addition of some herbs I planted specifically with dessert making in mind: lemon verbena, English lavender, orange mint and lemon balm, but there are many other herbs that while usually experienced in a savory situation, lend themselves well to sweets too. I've been really inspired by the scents and flavors of summer herbs and flowers lately and given the heat of the season, ice cream has been a perfect vehicle for experimenting with them.

Genovese basil ice cream
Genovese basil ice cream

We've just hit strawberry season here in New England and since having a strawberry-basil martini at Cuchi-Cuchi (a decadently over-the-top special occasions spot for drinks in Cambridge) I've been wanting to do a basil and strawberry dessert. Strawberry and basil are unexpected but well recognized partners and it seemed impossible to go wrong with a strawberry pie à la mode, but it was unthinkable that my first strawberry pie of the season not be a strawberry-rhubarb pie and I worried that the sour bite of rhubarb would throw off the delicate meld of fruit and herb flavors.