FRESH FRUIT COMPOTE WITH MINT BASIL SYRUP
My mint and basil are growing out of bounds, so I clipped them back and used some of them in this refreshing syrup for fruit. Can you use Splenda? Or honey? Sure – the syrup may not be as thick but will still be so good.
Featured in an article Country Gardens published on my herb garden.
Choose fruits in season, cutting and slicing as necessary.
2 cups packed mint leaves, chopped (I used a combo of peppermint, applemint and spearmint)
1/4 cup packed basil leaves, chopped (I used regular green and lemon)
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
Put sugar in saucepan and toss mint and basil on top, crushing the herbs into the sugar with a wooden spoon to release their oils. Add 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, cover so that essential oils don’t evaporate, and let sit for 20 minutes so herbs can infuse their flavor. Strain and let cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 weeks. If syrup happens to crystallize a bit, reheat gently. Drizzle the cooled syrup over fresh fruit.
Tips from Rita’s kitchen:
· This is wonderful as a digestive aid – a tablespoon in a glass of water works wonders.
· It’s a great syrup, too, to flavor hot or cold drinks.