drinksentertainingfoodFood & Drinkin the kitchen withkristina gillrecipes

in the kitchen with: lara ferroni’s ginger dishes

by Grace Bonney

Lara Ferroni has been with us before, with her Toasted Sesame and Vanilla ice cream, a hit (and her Sneak Peek). This week we’ve invited her back for a another spoon dessert incorporating an ingredient from her garden: Melon, Ginger and Shiso Sorbet with Ginger Shiso Mojitos and Sours. The great thing about her submission is that it uses a syrup as a base which you can then use in other recipes. This one really is perfect for summer! (ps: if you enjoy the drinks stay tuned next week for a new recipe from Behind the Bar!)

About Lara: Since her previous recipe was featured here on the ITKW column, Lara has been working non-stop photographing cookbooks- more than 8 of them in the past year! Lara manages to squeeze in a blog entry or two every now and then on her blogs Cook and Eat and Still Life With. But her most exciting new project is developing her own cookbook on a subject that almost everyone loves, donuts! Her cookbook is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2010. If you’re dying to get your hands on some of Lara’s photography print, look for: Best Places to Kiss Cookbook, Popcorn, Best Places Northwest Cookbook, and Haute in the Kitchen. This fall, look for The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook and Tacos.

For more recipe ideas, cookbook suggestions, help with techniques, food inspiration, and culinary notes from my travels, follow Kristina on Twitter! twitter.com/KristinaGill

CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!


Ginger Shiso Syrup

3/4 c granulated sugar

1 c water

1 3 to 4 inch knob of ginger

1 handful shiso leaves

Peel the ginger and cut into 1 inch matchsticks. Roughly chop the shiso.

Add the sugar and water to a heavy bottom pot over medium heat and stir a few times until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the ginger and and shiso. Let steep for 10 to 20 minutes. Strain and refrigerate.

Melon, Ginger and Shiso Sorbet

You can make this recipe with any sort of melon… canteloupe, honeydew… even watermelon. I made mine with galia melon which tastes more like honeydew, but has a creamy, green colored flesh. I don’t like to over-power the melon flavor with a lot of sweetness, so you may want to add a bit more syrup.

1/2 very ripe melon

Juice from 1 lemon

1 pinch of salt

2-3 T Ginger Shiso Syrup

Shiso leaf for garnish

Blend the melon with the lemon juice and salt until smooth. Stir in the syrup and adjust amount to taste (the flavor will be more subtle when the sorbet is cold). Freeze in an ice cream maker as directed. Garnish with a bit of shiso.

Ginger Shiso Mojito

2 shiso leaves. plus one small leaf for garnish

1 t granulated sugar

1 oz rum (optional if you want a faux-jito)

juice from 1 lime

1/2 oz ginger shiso syrup

club soda


Muddle 2 shiso leaves with the sugar and 1 ice cube in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, rum, lime juice and syrup. Shake. Pour into a tall glass and top with club soda and a small shiso leaf garnish.


Ginger Shiso Sour

I love this variation of a traditional pisco sour. If you don’t have pisco, substitute a good single malt whiskey.

3 oz pisco or whiskey

3/4 oz ginger shiso syrup

1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 egg white

2 dashes of bitters (optional)

1 small shiso leaf to garnish

Combine all ingredients, except bitters, in a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into glass and garnish with two dashes of bitters on top. Garnish with the small shiso leaf.


Why Lara chose this recipe:

I’ve recently become kind of obsessed with making flavored simple syrups, and this combination of ginger and shiso is one of my favorites. The shiso adds a cinnamony-mint flavor, while the ginger adds a spicy kick. This syrup pairs really well with any tangy fruit in drinks, sorbets or fruit salads. Perfect for summer!

Suggested For You


  • Ooooh the mojito sounds yummy, I might even give this a try tonight for my girl’s night in! Thanks for the tip and have a great weekend!

  • what a surprise to find Lara here again. I love her work and just recently met her. So kind and open. These photos are fresh and perfect for summer!

  • The champagne/sherbet glass in the first image is G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S! What I would do for a set of those! Lovely pics all around.

  • Wonderful and so refreshing. Thanks for sharing!

    My husband and I just made a simple ginger syrup last weekend and found it’s totally versatile. After infusing the sugar and ginger, we candied the ginger instead of discarding them. Simply drain the pieces of ginger on a cookie sheet, coat in sugar and bake in the oven at 200 or let dry on the counter.

  • I cook a lot and use lots of different herbs, but I have never heard of shiso. Where can you find it? It looks lovely and I’d love to try it.

  • Not surprised to see Lara here again! She is such an inspiration! The best part is her generosity: in the beauty of her work and in the time she dedicates to others talking and writing about photography.
    Very very thirsty all of a sudden!

  • Jacki – Shiso is most often used in Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese cuisine. If you have an Asian market around, they probably have some. But it is appearing in regular markets (and some farmer’s markets) more frequently. Sometimes it is called Perilla.

    Nikko – what a great tip about candying the left over ginger! I’ll have to give that a try next time.

    Thanks all for your lovely comments!


  • Lovely to see Lara’s work featured once again! Wonderful recipe. I have a shiso plant in the garden, so this couldn’t be more appropriate.

  • I love the photography!! Everything on this page makes me think of summer and freshness and purity. The sorbet at the top is especially delicious looking….

  • hello there – the sorbet looks amazing but oh, the mojito! just what the doctor ordered…

    over here in japan, people make shiso syrup/juice in the summer, typically using purple shiso, which give the drink a stunning reddish purple hue. but even with green shiso, if you add a bit of citric acid (or a lot of lemon juice), the syrup will slightly take on a pinkish tinge. pretty :)