A shrub is a Colonial Era beverage made with a sweetened vinegar base diluted with water, seltzer, wine, or spirits that is enjoying a renaissance. Make it with sparkling water for the church social, with a still or sparkling wine for a summer afternoon refresher that is a bit racier. We are infusing the fruit and vinegar with basil for added complexity. Tarragon or lemon verbena would be good variations. This recipe is readily adaptable to many summer fruits and berries.
Now is the short moment to capitalize on the abundance of fresh, sun ripe local berries. Add any other berries that are available to you like currants or gooseberries. The fruit vinegar balances out the sweetness of the maple. The pepper brings out the spiciness of the berries. Try the cardamom. It enhances the floral quality of the fruit. If you have basil that has bolted, you can sprinkle the flowers over the berries.
Corn is more American than apple pie. Soon roadside stands and markets will be piled high with sweet corn. We use half the butter to grill the corn and half to serve at the table. This is very satisfying for a Dad’s Day Cookout. You may want to double the recipe for the compound butter.
A blend of grey sea salt, black, green and white peppercorns with coriander, thyme and rosemary in a subtle alliance with Cayenne pepper adds a depth of flavor to this beautiful cut of beef. A crisp green salad and a baked potato are natural accompaniments.
There are so many heirloom and new hybrid varieties of cherry and grape tomatoes on the market these days. Use a mix of shapes and colors in this salad for visual appeal and flavor . Same holds true for the wide range of basils. Experiment with colors and textures. Add the basil just before you serve the salad as the acid in the vinegar and any residual heat will make it discolor.