About a month ago The Washington Post FOOD section (the main reason I subscribe) did a feature on blueberries. They wrote about two local blueberry growers, one organic, one not - their entire life stories plus all the details of their garden/farm/plot? What is a big blueberry patch called? Anyway, as always, it was a mouthwatering article (here, if you want to read it) that ended in a number of totally creative blueberry recipes - like Blueberry Fritters with Honey Cream and Summer Couscous Pudding with Blueberries.
And this lemonade.
Which I made immediately, especially since we had just gone blueberry picking. And which I made again for Dessert Club. And with which I have decided to start LEMONADE WEEK!
It is AMAZING. If you like the contributing flavors. Because you can taste each one. So if you're not an herbal person maybe it's not for you. But for those with a more sophisticated palette, like myself of course, this is about the most refreshing thing you could toss back in the heat of summer. After you blend up the hot base, remove the lid and hold your face over the concoction - breathe deeply for an herbal sinus cleanse and facial steam. Then after you add the lemon juice and water, chill thoroughly, at least overnight, for the most delicious purple beverage you could ever hope to drink. Then you can die happy.Blueberry Lemonade with Ginger and Basil
1 pint blueberries, stemmed and rinsed, plus more for optional garnish
1 cup sugar or sweetener of your choice
1 cup plus 1 quart water
1/2 cup basil leaves, packed, plus more for optional garnish
Two-inch piece peeled ginger root, cut crosswise into thin slices
Finely grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 3 or 4 lemons
1. Combine the blueberries, sugar and 1 cup of the water in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the berries just begin to burst.
2. Transfer to the blender*, along with the basil, ginger and lemon zest. Puree until smooth, then strain into a pitcher, pushing on the solids with a rubber spatula to extract all of the liquid. Discard the solids.
3. Add the remaining quart of water and the lemon juice to the base mixture. Serve over ice. Garnish with blueberries and basil leaves, if desired.
*Careful! Blending hot liquid may literally cause the blender to blow its top. If your lid has a removable center, take it out and loosely hold a paper towel over the hole so steam can escape but it doesn't splatter. If not, leave the whole lid off and do the paper towel thing.