Although I didn’t tackle my idea of basil sorbet or garlic ice cream, this recipe, originally published in Gourmet magazine, plays on the idea of making a savory course feel like a dessert.
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from one 1/4-ounce envelope)
1 tablespoon hot water
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
1/2 large red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Vidalia or sweet onion
1 (1 1/2-inch) piece Kirby cucumber, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (preferably “reserva”)
1 tablespoon orujo (Spanish clear brandy), grappa or aquavit
1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons mild extra-virgin olive oil (preferably Andalusian hojiblanca)
Soften gelatin in hot water 1 minute. Mash garlic to a paste with salt using a mortar and pestle (or mince and mash with a large knife). Blend garlic paste, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, cucumber, vinegar, orujo and sugar in a food processor until smooth. Add oil and gelatin mixture with motor running, then force purée through a sieve into a bowl, pressing firmly on solids. Discard solids. Chill until cold, about 1 hour, then freeze in ice cream maker. Transfer sorbet to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden. Serves 6 as a first course.