For the second installment in our Traveling Basil series, we will follow our bountiful Green Heart basil harvest to its first stop at The Harbinger Cafe. The Harbinger is located across the street from the Green Heart Project headquarters on Upper King (hey, neighbor) and has a wide variety of both savory and sweet tasty dishes to choose from. All of their ingredients are locally sourced and they are constantly inspired by the fresh produce that Charleston has to offer.
Along with a variety of baked goods, The Harbinger serves tartines that rotate daily. A tartine is an open-faced sandwich topped with a variety of spreads. They transformed our sweet basil into their “Green Heart” tartine, made especially for us. The Green Heart tartine was served on Root Bakery sourdough (keeping it local) and topped with a carrot basil hummus and a marinated tomato and hemp heart salad. When I asked the staff about the inspiration behind this dish, they explained that the hemp hearts were a no brainer because of Green Heart’s logo. For the rest of the dish, they used whatever ingredients they had fresh that day to ensure the highest quality product.
As soon as I took a bite of this tartine, I immediately tasted the freshness of the basil. The sweet basil was the perfect variety to use for this dish because it complemented the sweetness of the carrots. The tomatoes on top added a burst of acidity and the bread was the perfect vehicle for the entire dish. This dish truly combined the mission of the Green Heart project with the mission of The Harbinger: keeping it seasonal, fresh, and local. Check in next week to see where else our basil travels!