Basil is so versatile.
It makes savory dishes seem sweeter. I add copious amounts of dried basil to my favorite wintertime chili. It's my bold-faced obvious secret ingredient.
It makes a pairing with something sweet seem more savory. It enhances the sweetness already there, but it is the string that keeps the kite from flying away with its subtle licorice-like essence.
In Basil Peach Tea, the smooth green basil leaves ground the sweetness of the tangy ripe peaches with an earthy herbaceous depth. Neither the peaches nor the basil attempt to outdo the other, but blend to produce a refreshing cup of summer harvest celebration.
Basil Peach Tea
3 green tea bags
Several fresh basil leaves (I used 8 2-inch leaves)
2-3 TBSP honey, or to taste
3 cups fresh peach slices
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
Bring 3 cups of water to boil. When boiling, remove from heat. Steep tea bags for 5 minutes, covered. Tear basil leaves and add to tea. Cover and steep another two minutes. Remove tea bags and strain leaves from tea. Stir in honey until dissolved. Add 3 cups cold water.
In a blender puree the peaches, juice, and zest until smooth. Stir into cooled tea.
Stir well before serving. Serve over a glassful of ice and garnished with additional fresh basil leaves.