I'm crazy about shiso and was thrilled that we were able to grow several plants in our garden this summer. Turns out they like a spot that is a bit shadier, neither wet nor dry. We had to rescue armloads of the stuff before the first frost as it immediately and tragically goes black and limp. But then there I was with tons of shiso and only a few ideas as to how to use it. I've always enjoyed the crystallized shiso leaves, coated in a brittle crust of sugar, that are part of the dessert plate at Matsuri, but I couldn't really see making them at home. And I do like the pickled umeboshi-plum-and-shiso roll that is on every classic sushi menu, but that would use up just a few leaves at most. I did go ahead and make a simple syrup infused with the smaller quantity of red shiso I had—great for cocktails and to mix with soda water—but that still left me with vast quantities of the green. A quick scan of the web revealed virtually no inspiration, aside from an edamame salad enlivened with chopped shiso. So I put on my special Glutton's Thinking Cap (looks something like this
, or perhaps this
), gazed deep into the vast recesses of the fridge, and came up with a rather inventive way to use large handfuls of deliciously pungent, minty shiso.