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Need new ideas for using basil

I have two beautiful basil plants that are in full bloom. Any new recipe ideas? I prefer not to make pesto. And I've made every variation of basil with tomato (e.g. caprese, fresh tomatoes and pasta, etc.).

I could try a stir-fry with basil and beef. Any other ideas?

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  1. put it in your sandwich in place of lettuce

    1. under the skin of beer can chicken

      1. A favorite dessert of mine is one that's derived from a Ken Hom recipe. It's a summer fruit compote that is flavored with a vanilla bean/basil syrup. Use the basil stems - after picking the leaves - to steep in a syrup made with vanilla beans. Gently warm peaches/nectarines, berries (rasberries give a nice pink hue) whatever fruit you like in the syrup. At the last minute, toss in the basil leaves and serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

          1. re: yayadave

            You could also do an orange-basil granita

          2. I've been making basil & arugula fritattas.

            1. Make basil oil. Will last all year refrigerated.

              2 Replies
              1. re: bryan

                Don't forget that if you make basil oil, you need to blanch the basil first. I used to just add all of my basil trimmings to a jar and cover with olive oil and the flavor was great, but I haven't done this since I found out that this can be a source of botulism.

              2. You could try drying some. My experiment didn't work that well, but the one thing I got out of the exercise was that it takes a WHOLE LOT of a fresh herb to make a tiny bit of dried herb.


                One of my favorite restaurants has a drink made with basil ... the Coco500 ... thai basil, kaffir lime vodka, fresh lime.

                While searching around, there are other good-sounding basil-based beverages ...

                - here's a strawberry basil drink with vodka

                - there's a few here with basil lemonade, strawberry basil margarita, basil lemon gimlets and basil mint tea.

                I've been putting basil in scrambled eggs and adding it to the greens in salad.

                1 Reply
                1. re: rworange

                  Add some fresh shaved sweet white corn and shredded havarti to gently torn up basil leaves in the scrambled eggs, serve with slices of summer melon and rye toast and a cup of coffee, go back to bed.

                  Or - stay up after breakast, and add shredded basil to a sliced mango, garden tomato, olive oil and balsamic vinegar salad,let marinate in the fridge for the day, serve with bbq in the evening.

                2. i've seen a few thai dishes where basil has been quick fried in a wok of shallow oil and then added as a garnish over a stir fry. the result is rice-paper thin, curly dark green crisps that add a little crunch texture to your dish. i also think it looks "cool". =)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: lawrence

                    I was just going to say thai food. Good call. Great fried, like you said, or as an addition at the very end of a thai stir fry (esp. ones with either a green curry or with coconut milk base). good stuff.

                  2. Basil syrup as described here www.chowhound.com/topics/show/310840#... (and read the rest of the thread for other ideas). Am pretty sure it would freeze well.

                    A favourite summer recipe for shelled deveined shrimp or lobster chunks (if desired you can marinate them first with white wine, mustard, olive oil, chopped basil, onion, cracked pepper): Wrap each piece of shellfish in a basil leaf and a paper-thin slice of prosciutto. Thread onto skewers and grill, basting with the marinade.

                    1. I recently posted on my Orange-Basil and Lime-Basil Sorbets--delicious!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Funwithfood

                        I had a vanilla basil ice cream at my favorite restaurant the other day... it was really wonderful and brought out the sweetness of the basil!

                        1. re: Katie Nell

                          I want to make Basil Ice Cream next...(lost my momentum AND ingredients during our 60 hour blackout).

                          1. re: Funwithfood

                            I really couldn't believe how good it was, because I'm not even a *huge* basil fan... I like it in moderation normally, but I really enjoyed the ice cream!

                      2. A Saveur article last summer had us adding sprigs of mint to our gin and tonics. One day I brought in some basil to use in something and had washed it and patted it dry. Somehow my DH mistook it for mint and added it to the g&t. Nt bad at all!

                        1. Basil Ice Cream

                          2 cups milk, divided
                          1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
                          2 cups whipping cream
                          1 cup sugar, divided
                          7 egg yolks
                          1 teaspoon mint liqueur (optional)
                          Garnish: fresh basil sprigs


                          COOK 1 cup milk in a heavy saucepan over low heat until bubbly. Stir in 1 cup basil leaves, and remove from heat. Cover and let stand at room temperature 20 minutes.
                          PROCESS basil mixture in a blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding solids. Set aside.
                          COOK remaining 1 cup milk, whipping cream, and 1/2 cup sugar in saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, just until mixture is bubbly. Remove from heat.
                          BEAT egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until thick and pale. Gradually stir about one-fourth of hot milk mixture into yolks; add to remaining hot mixture, stirring constantly. Stir in basil mixture and, if desired, liqueur; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 6 minutes or until mixture thickens and coats a spoon. Cover and chill 4 hours.
                          POUR chilled mixture into freezer container of a 1-gallon electric ice-cream freezer, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.
                          Pack with additional ice and rock salt, and let stand 1 hour. Serve in frozen lemon shells, and garnish, if desired.

                          1. We just stick it in the freezer and put it in things later in the year. Also, thai food is good with basil, even the European stuff. We put it in spring rolls for instance

                            1. Stuff a handful of basil with some other fresh herbs and a half lemon and maybe a couple cloves of garlic into a chicken before roasting. Simple and good.

                              I'm using some basil tonight in spaghetti squash. Roast the squash halves in the oven, and scrape out with a fork. Shimmer some olive oil in a pan, saute up the squash with some tomatoes for a few minutes while you chiffonade lots of basil to add in. Saute for a few minutes more and serve. Delicious and pretty.

                              During the summer, I do a lot of pasta and rice dishes with lots of sauteed veggies, garlic, handfuls of herbs, and whatever leftover meat I have on hand (or go veg), usually with a bit of whatever cheese makes sense. Or a similar idea but scoop out some zucchini cut lengthwise and add the scoopage and some bread crumbs to the mix. Stuff into the zucchini barquettes and bake for 10-15 minutes with some chicken stock.