Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Strawberry and Basil Compote

It's summer here and while I may not like the warmer weather I certainly do appreciate the bounty of fresh fruits on offer, including these delightful strawberries.


While working on something to make for Blog Party #30 I really wanted to move past that whole strawberry and balsamic vinegar combination and decided to try a different companion for these berries - fresh basil.

Taking inspiration from tomato and basil and how well those two work together, my idea eventually involved into making a "sweet pesto" - leaving out the savoury elements, I made a simple paste of basil leaves, pine-nuts and icing sugar. One taste of this sweet pesto and I knew I was on the right track.

strawberry and basil compote

Strawberry and Basil Compote

strawberries, cut into small dice
icing sugar

Sweet Pesto:
basil leaves
pinenuts (or slivered almonds)
icing sugar

Prepare the strawberries:

Once you've cut all the strawberries into a fine dice, sprinkle over with a little icing sugar, stir well and then cover and allow to macerate. The fruit will become glossy and a lovely red liquid will form at the bottom of the bowl.

Make the Sweet Pesto:

I've left the quantities vague as you should make this is suit your own palette.

Place the basil leaves, pinenuts (or slivered almonds) and icing sugar into the bowl of a small mixer and pulse until a rough paste forms. The consistency will be a little like moist clay and will form damp clumps. The end paste should still have some texture, don't blend it until smooth, you want to be able to feel a nutty grit in your mouth.


Place a little sweet pesto at the bottom of your serving dishes and then top with the diced strawberries, spoon over the released juice - the juice will help loosen the sweet pesto and it's flavour will infuse the liquid.

Garnish with tiny basil leaves.


You could mix the sweet pesto through the strawberries but it won't look as nice - the strawberries lose their glossy appearance. I think it's a nicer experience to get that basil flavour building as you eat the dish.



  1. This is surprising dish (kind of like the first time I heard of sweet, fruit-based soups), but looks like a sweet and interesting treat.

    And for what its worth, I like the looks of the new blog template :-)

  2. Sounds refreshing and looks wonderful!! I have been enjoying your blog for a long time! Your photo's are always drool worthy!!

  3. I love your photos and your recipe. And this is wonderful


  4. Those photos just made me rethink tearing out my pathetic little strawberry patch. It's not much, but a few fresh berries every day may just be worth it...
    That is a beautiful bit of food!

  5. Thanks Mike - very happy to see you like the new template!

    Thank you so much PIC that is very kind of you!

    Thank you Marta!

    Thanks Katie - nothing quite compares to the taste of your own strawberries, I hope they get a repreive!

  6. Sweet and simple, can't go wrong with that!

  7. mgnifique!Tes images sont sublimes!!!


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