Bright sun glistened off the water below us while fishing boats tied up in perfect rows rocked and swayed in the gentle breeze. My girls and I had just been seated at a restaurant in the waterfront village of Pentwater, a favorite pit stop on our way home from our annual weekend in Ludington. It was August, which always feels like the tail end of summer, and we were relishing the last moments we had of the season.
One glance at the menu and I knew I couldn’t pass up the caprese salad. Thick cuts of juicy tomatoes, fresh, creamy mozzarella, and ribbons of licorice-y basil scattered throughout. Getting all three in one bite is the flavor of summer. It just cannot be replicated any other time of the year.
I love our annual girls trip, but I also love when we get together once a month for Cooking Club. I was next in line to host and I needed to decide the theme for March. Since I have been craving fresh basil, I mean downright craving that pungent summer flavor, ‘Italian Primavera’ was the theme and I called dibs on dessert.
Basil and dessert? Whaaat? I know, but sweet strawberries and tangy meyer lemon are a perfect pair for basil.
The frozen strawberries and coconut cream get blended together with the lemon zest and lemon juice. Then I hand-mix in some reserved strawberries and the basil that’s been chopped into pretty ribbons. I made this a day ahead and found that it was frozen solid. I let it thaw for an hour but next time I’ll probably make it a couple hours before serving and let it set up.
Coconut cream makes this super creamy and decadent. If you don’t have coconut cream, you can use coconut milk but just be sure to use full fat.
Cooking Club fell on a beautiful, sunny evening. We ate spaghetti smothered in red sauce, sipped on sparkling water, and finished everything with creamy strawberry ice cream with pretty strips of fresh basil. It was a perfect way to kick of the warmer weather.
If you’re craving summer flavors, this is perfect. It’s dairy free, added sugar free, and just delicious. Try it out and tell me about it in the comments below!
Strawberry Basil Vegan Ice Cream with Meyer Lemon
- 1 Can Coconut Cream
- 1 Lb Frozen Strawberries
- Zest from 1 Meyer Lemon
- Juice from 1 Meyer Lemon
- 2 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Basil
Pour the coconut cream into a blender. Set aside 5-6 large strawberries and add the rest to the blender along with the lemon zest and juice. Blend until smooth and pour into a bread loaf pan or large bowl.
Place the reserved strawberries in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about a minute or until completely thawed. Chop and stir into the blender mixture along with the fresh basil. Freeze for 2-3 hours to set or overnight. Freezing over night will make mixture completely solid so allow plenty of time to thaw before serving. I’d recommend at least 2 hours.