Last night I went to Nancy and John's for dinner. Ok, really I went for dessert, but I also ate dinner there.
John had tweaked the mint-basil chocolate chunk ice cream recipe from the new Scharffen Berger cookbook, and what he came up with was so good, I blew past seconds and went straight into third-and-a-halfs.
He added egg yolks, because he believes, as I do, that ice cream texture is much better when you start out with an egg custard base. He also said, and I think he was speculating but maybe he read it, that the recipe omitted eggs because it was so intent on giving the ice cream a bright green color (the recipe calls for a bit of spinach leaves to brighten the color), and the yolks would dull the green.
I've had basil-lemon ice cream before, as well as basil-something-else-I-can't-remember, but I've never had basil and mint together, and I really really have never had basil and chocolate together. The combination worked though. Really well. The basil and the mint played off each other and each kept the other from being one-dimensional. I'm not sure I ever realized how complimentary the flavors are, at least in this context.
The basil worked along the mint theme, but created all these other nuances that built a complexity that could hold its own against the chocolate. But in a delicious way, not a confrontational, rumble-in-your-mouth way.