basil lime sorbet

After a cold spring during which most of our veggies and herbs died, our basil has made quite the comeback over the past couple of months. It's basically a basil bush now. We've made a variety of pastas, pestos, and caprese salads, but we can't seem to make a dent in it. So I got a little excited when I came across a recipe for basil lime sorbet. It sounded a bit strange, but I figured it was worth a shot. I'll take any excuse I can get to make sorbet, ice cream, or really anything that calls for a large amount of sugar.

I decided to double the recipe to use up even more basil, so it took about 9 small organic limes to get 1 1/2 cups of fresh lime juice.

Our basil leaves were bigger than what we normally get from the store, but I didn't want to deviate from the recipe on the first try so I used the full 40 leaves (recipe x 2).

I started to get a little concerned about the end result after blending all the ingredients together.  The color was similar to mushy peas.

But the taste was interesting... and not in a bad way.  So I stuck with it.  After the blending I had to stray from the recipe because I wanted to use my ice cream maker instead of the freeze and chop method they suggested.  I let the mixture sit out on the counter for 30 minutes to let it cool a bit, then covered it and put it in the fridge until the temperature reached 40 degrees.  Once it reached the right temp, I put it in the ice cream maker and let it churn for about 25 minutes.  Then I scraped it into a bowl, covered the sorbet with wax paper, and put the air-tight cover on.  I stuck it in the freezer to finish hardening for a few hours, then it was time to try it out...

So here's the thing about this sorbet... despite it's strange color - it's good.  It might be really good.  If it was part of a prix fixe meal at a fancy Italian restaurant I'd probably be really impressed.  The basil and lime were surprisingly complimentary, and it was a great way to use up a ton of basil.  But it's not something I'm going to crave - which is probably a good thing considering we're going to Hawaii in a few weeks.  It's kind of like Red Vines.  It's really close to what you want (Twizzlers), but it doesn't quite hit the spot.  It leaves you wishing you'd saved those calories for the treat you really wanted (in this case a huge honkin' bowl of chocolate gelato.)  But the recipe gets great reviews on, so maybe you'll love it.  If you have your own basil bush in your backyard, or you just really love basil, give it a try...

Basil Lime Sorbet


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 20 fresh basil leaves, minced


1) Make a simple syrup by bringing the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan; allow to boil 1 minute; remove from heat.

2) Combine the syrup, lime juice, and basil in a blender; puree.

3) Pour the mixture into a container and cover; store in freezer until completely frozen, about 2 hours.

4) Break the frozen mixture into pieces and place in the blender; blend until smooth. Return to the container and cover. Store in freezer until ready to serve.

OR, if you're going to use an ice cream maker...

3) Pour the mixture into a container and set it on the counter to cool for 30 minutes.  Then cover and place in the refrigerator until the mixture reaches 40 degrees or colder.

4) Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and churn according to the machine's instructions.  Scrape into an air-tight container, cover with wax paper and then the bowl cover, and place in the freezer for at least an hour to let it harden.