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Entertaining

A Pacific Natural Bonus: The Basil Dinner

A Pacific Natural Bonus: The Basil Dinner

Our first-ever book, Pacific Natural, is hitting the shelves on March 19, full of all of the things Jenni loves the most. Floral inspiration, recipes tailored to fit the season, thoughtful takeaways, and tips for entertaining, effortlessly. To celebrate, we’re giving our readers some bonus content: a simply set dinner party full of considered details, where a single show stopping ingredient makes an appearance everywhere, from dishes to décor. You’ll also see behind the scenes of entertaining with Jenni in an exclusive video below, and find the recipes to try this one on your own. In this case, when life gives you basil, throw a party!

The Takeaways

Take-home gifts are a lovely way to thank your guests and make everyone feel appreciated. This dinner party, guests were able to take a piece of the party home with them. Jenni made homemade Thai Basil Jam and wrapped them with a piece of muslin and string. Takeaways are also a creative, casual way to make seating arrangements feel less formal and more fun.

The Décor

Kristen Cassie of Moon Canyon put arrangements together in small bunches. You can emulate this look, too—just use a set of glassware as vases to make a more visually interesting tablescape. Don’t worry about the glasses all matching—making it your own is the fun part! Her advice to recreating your own bouquets: “Use what is growing in your garden to create a collected and found feel. Don’t be afraid to use elements from your vegetable garden, too.” For these arrangements, Kristen used pansies, basil, chocolate cosmos (those reddish, maroon-like blooms), hellebores, eucalyptus, and Swedish ivy.

The Menu

Eating with the seasons means we sometimes find ourselves with a plethora of a single ingredient on our hands. Simple abundance is reason enough for celebration, but our friend Annie Campbell elevates the everyday by incorporating basil into every aspect of the menu. Give us a craft cocktail, a plentiful spread of veggies with a vegan-friendly dip, then finish with a cooling treat, and we can’t ask for much else. We love when eggplant parmesan goes vegan, the basil vinaigrette is now a salad staple, and lemon-basil granita is a sweet tooth satisfying dessert that’s sure to please.
Recipe

Basil Gimlet

  • Servings: 6
  • Units:

Ingredients for the Agave Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup 237 ml agave
  • 1 cup 237 ml hot water

Ingredients for the Cocktails

  • 4.5 oz 128 g lime juice
  • 3 oz 85 g agave simple syrup
  • 1.5 cup 355 ml vodka
  • 12 basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup 118 ml mint leaves

To make the agave syrup

Combine the agave and hot water, and stir until fully combined. Chill before using.

To make the cocktail

Combine 6 of the basil leaves and the mint in a pitcher. Use a wooden spoon to lightly muddle the herbs. Add the lime juice, agave syrup, vodka and ice and give the mix a good stir. Divide evenly between 6 ice-filled glasses. Garnish each cocktail with a sprig of basil. Enjoy!

Photos by Melissa Gidney