It has been awhile since we've prepared this dish. Our first time trying it was at a friend's wedding in Italy. Upon arriving home from our trip a few years back, we immediately began to search for a recipe. Our efforts did not go unrewarded.
The kids we more reluctant about this dish, but as with anything they learn to eat, we'll try again. Next time we will have them help prepare it. That is always a sure way to have them chowing something down.
Thanks to my green thumb gardening friend, we had a had bunch to cook up. I believe we owe her a batch of these. So get on out to your gardens, down to your farmer's market, or best place to score some fresh basil.
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup club soda or mineral water (approx.)
20 large basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry
Combine flour, salt, and corn starch in a small bowl. Add the club soda slowly, until you have a thick batter (I had to add a few more tablespoons). Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
Add oil to a small pan to 1/2" depth, then heat on medium until warm.
On a large plate, put down paper towels to help soak up excess oil after cooking, plus have more set aside to cover the finished leaves.
Dip a few leaves in the batter until they are completely covered (swirling works well), then place them in the pan. Cook for a few minutes, flip with a fork or tongs, and cook a few more minutes until crispy and golden.
Place the finished leaves on the towel-lined plate, then cover with paper towels to remove extra oil and keep them warm (though they are best consumed right away).