I've used my big bunch of basil to make a big pot of tomato sauce. Is there any reason why the stems can't go in for flavoring. I planned to tie the bunch of stems together and put it in with the sauce for the simmer. I'm afraid to do this because every recipe I've read asks that the leaves be pick off. Now I'm thinking...there must be a reason! What am I missing?
A couple of years ago, I saw "dried basil stems" in one of those glossy "foodie" catalogues priced at a king's ransom. It was suggested that you put them over the BBQ coals for their flavoring and the text burbbled that the stems would transport your backyard grilling to the sunny Mediterranean shores - or somesuch promise.
I have found putting a whole lot of stems into a pot of anything can infuse a bitterness that I don't care for. Use a few and work up on the theory that it is easier to add than subtract.