When thinking of ways to explore Tulsi, Plant Wonder Collective's plant of the month, I considered how I could sub in this plant for basil in a recipe. You see, Tulsi is also known as Holy Basil and Sacred Basil. It is in the ocimum family, just as culinary basil, but Tulsi is a much more floral experience. To me, it smells like bubble gum!
Thus a dessert pesto was born.
Here we utilize typical pesto ingredients such as nuts, oil and lemon juice. But instead of parmesan, we add honey to sweeten it up. On its own, this dessert pesto is sweet, but partnering it with any neutral canvas will balance the nutty, floral pop of flavor. A little goes a long way. Use this it on grilled fruit, over ice cream or on top of cheesecake.
Tulsi is an adaptogenic nervine. Through regular use it helps to calm the nervous system aiding in depression, anxiety and stress management. Also an exhilarant, it has a calming rather than stimulating quality, leading to a more grounded uplifting feeling. This pesto is an herbal bonus to any already delightful sweet treat experience.
M A K E
1/2 c tulsi, fresh
3 tbsp almonds, slivered
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
3 tbsp sweet almond oil or other neutral oil
In a food processor, whir all ingredients except for the oil, until well blended.
Drizzle in oil and continue to blend until you reach your desired texture.
N O T E S
-This is a small batch, making enough to use as a condiment on top of a dessert.
-To grill peaches, cut in half and remove the stones. Brush with oil. Grill cut side down for 3-5 minutes. Flip over and grill for another 3-5 minutes. If the fruit isn't especially ripe, close the lid for the second half to help soften it.
-For a twist, you try using half fresh Tulsi and fresh half Mint.