These hot days have me craving the simplest summery fare. Now that stone fruits have made their first appearances, I’m thinking nonstop about creative ways to use all the peaches, nectarines, and apricots that cross my path. On Saturday I came home from the greenmarket toting fragrant New York State peaches, sugar plums, and the sweetest, so-red-they’re-almost-black sweet cherries my tastebuds have ever encountered. Heaven!
Dessert that night was a summer fruit medley with a kick — the kick being tequila (still have a bottle lying around from those leafy green margaritas of a few months back), rounded out by a squeeze of bright, tart lime, flowery local honey, and tongue-tingling ginger.
Peach + basil is one of my favorite fruit-herb combinations, so I also added a few thinly sliced leaves of Thai basil. If you haven’t tried Thai basil before, its flavor is much like regular Italian basil but with more prominent licorice notes and a pungent, musky aroma. If there’s an herb with more intrigue, I’ve never met it 🙂 I rarely see the Thai variety in grocery stores, but this time of year farm stands often have it (Asian markets often carry it, too). Definitely give it a try if you happen upon it!
boozy summer fruits with Thai basil
If you don’t have Thai basil on hand, substitute whatever basil variety you can purchase fresh (lemon basil would be especially good) — or try mint for a variation.
zest and juice from 1/2 lime (about 1/2 tsp zest and 1 tablespoon juice)
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 tablespoon good quality tequila (I used Herradura Silver)
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
2 ripe peaches, pitted and diced
3 ripe plums, pitted and sliced (I used yellow sugar plums)
1 cup sweet cherries, pitted and halved
1 tablespoon chiffonade-sliced Thai basil (from 12 smallish leaves), plus a few additional sprigs, for garnish
Whisk together the lime zest and juice, honey, tequila, and ginger in a large bowl. Add the fruits and basil and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the fruit to absorb the flavors of the marinade.
Serve the fruit salad solo, garnished with sprigs of basil, or with a dollop of whipped cream. Also delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream alongside.