The Many Uses for Basil

My sister has spent a lot of time working on farms throughout the world, and has developed quite the culinary green-thumb. As such, she was the logical “go to” for my question about what to do with all this basil. I knew there was only so much bruschetta with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil I could handle, and figured there had to be more ways to use it.

“Assuming you mean fresh basil?” she asked.

“Yes.” Well, “fresh” assuming I can figure out something to do with it before it dries up…

Ask and you shall be overwhelmed! If you’re like me wondering “what am I going to do with all this basil,” read on. In fact, we might run out of fresh basil at this rate!

  • Basil is a nice addition to any pasta/red sauce combo (tomato based)
  • Basil pairs nicely with feta cheese (eg. greek salads)
  • Make your own pesto! (which is nice as a spread, but also as a marinade on fish, eg salmon) there are endless variations on homemade pestos, and they are suuuuuuper easy to make
  • Strawberry cucumber basil salad (perfect summer salad)
  • Watermelon and basil is a nice combo (think skewers of this as an appetizer)
  • Also nice with peach and peach-like fruit desserts, add a little fresh basil on top before baking
  • Strawberry and basil is also a nice combo for some desserts – depends on the kind of basil you use though..ideally something on the mild side (eg mix it into strawberry shortcake biscuits)
  • I’ve also heard of it in drinks, like lemonade (use honey as the sweetener – lemon honey basil, amazing). basil can add a nice mild peppery note
  • Mix basil (or thyme or rosemary) into homemade bread and/or pizza dough
  • Also fresh sliced basil on top of pizzas / breads / bruschetta
  • Soup (tomato basil soup; summer squash or squash soups are nice with basil)
  • Sweet potato (roasted as a side, make a roast veg salad – sweet potato and zucchini?! yum, make gnocchi out of it, soup it, use it as a base for your curry, whatever you do with it) is really nice with basil

“That’s all I’ve got for the moment.”

I see now that basil can be so much more than a seasoning. It can co-star is a lot of meals! The pairings certainly abound. Lots of fruits (which I wouldn’t have thought of). Excited to try some of these out!