My gourmand friend Dan, whose creations I have featured on this blog in the past, has come up with another one that left me speechless and reaching for the virtual pen.
Shiso is a Japanese plant whose aromatic leaves you may have seen as decoration in sushi. Aroma reminiscent of a hypothetical cross of green guava, citrus, cilantro and basil, and strong tasting, it's not something you can easily find, except for Japanese markets. Of course, us Silicon Valley urban farmers grow them conveniently in shady spots in our backyards :)! As a substitute in this recipe, you can try other aromatic greens like mint or kafir lime leaves.
1. Make simple syrup - half cup water, half cup sugar, bring to boil.
2. Steep shiso leaves in the syrup (like tea), refrigerate for a few hours.
3. Take pulp of 3 ripe mangoes.
4. Discard the used up shiso leaves, combine simple syrup with mango, and squeeze one lime all into a blender.
5. Add a small handful of washed shiso leaves into the blender and puree for 15 seconds or so, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
6. Feed the chilled mixture into an ice-cream / sorbet maker, and serve immediately when ready.
Having this gourmet sorbet with chilled 2008 Oddero Moscato d'Asti was absolutely killer dessert pairing. Oddero is mostly known for traditional Barolos. But they make this wonderful Moscato d'Asti, low alcohol, medium-sweet sparkling wine vinified from the white Muscat (Moscato Bianco) grape in the Italian region of Piedmonte near the town of Asti (hence Moscato d'Asti) that under $20/bottle provides immense pleasure with the right dessert. One of the best Moscato I've ever had.