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What to do with Lots of Basil Besides Pesto?

My husband recently returned from the Farmers' Market with three gigantic bunches of fresh basil. My second daughter has recently decided she hates pesto. What can we do besides making pesto and serving the pasta with butter and cheese for the pesto-averse one?

I don't think she minds the taste of basil; she just doesn't like pesto for some reason.

I'd love any suggestions.


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  1. Here is a recipe for basil beer bread that I made about a month ago. It's heavy, as any type of beer bread will be, but it is quite good.


    1. Even though it's not Thai basil you could try using it as though it were. I like to mix together a mixture of lime juice, sugar and fish sauce. Stirfry some scallions and garlic and some kind of meat or seafood and a hot pepper if you like things hot. Add the sauce, stir in the basil at the last minute and serve with rice.

      1. I wrap corn on the cob with basil, then wrap corn in wet paper towel, then foil, and gill it. wonderful

        Use the basil in a spaghetti sauce.

        Take a cracker, put cream cheese on it, then basil, then sun dried tomatoe.

        1. I love sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and chopped basil drizzled w/evoo and sprinkled w/ s and p. Makes for a great salad. Can also makes this combo as a bruschetta or as a homemade pizza. YUM!

          1. Basil Oil...

            Take equal parts basil and spinach (not from CA) Blanch in boiling water, very quickly, then shock in ice water. Ring out excess water in towels.

            In food processor or blender, add 2 cups oil and half the blanched greens. Blend on high, add the rest of greens through feeder, add a pinch of salt to preserve the color. Stop blending one the temp of the oil is slightly above body temp, heat will oxidize the greens and turn the oil black.

            Strain through cheese cloth, store in airtight container and refridgerate.

            1. Stir fry ground chicken with a *lot* of finely chopped very hot chilies, shallots, a dash of fish sauce, and a little bit either oyster sauce or (my pref) thick sweet thai(?) soy sauce. If you have kaffir lime leaves, add two or three very finely slivered. When it's done and you've just turned off the heat, toss in a bunch of cleaned basil leaves, two or three times as many as you think would be right. Toss them together in the pan for a minute or two until they are wilted and well distributed with the meat. Yum, yum, yummy. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

              Note, I used about twenty of those teeny tiny thai chiles per pound of meat. My ex-bf had an asbestos mouth and he actually commented it was very spicy. Exercise caution; your mileage may vary.

              1. Bruschetta -- oven-toasted sliced Italian bread rubbed w/ half a garlic clove each, olive oil, chopped tomatoes mixed w/ chopped basil.

                Compound butter for fish -- chopped basil mixed w/ shallot and parsley.

                Add at end of cooking to sauteed corn & peppers, green beans, etc. But nothing dives through quantities of basil like pesto.

                1. Basil-wrapped steamed cod is always nice.

                  Also, you can add it to stir-fries and noodle dishes.


                  1. There is a non-Genoese pesto that is chopped parsley or basil, chopped toasted blanched almonds, and chopped peeled and seeded tomatoes. You don't actually cook it, but mix it together at room temp and then toss with hot pasta. Come to think of it, it would probably be pretty good on bruschetta too.

                    Oh, wait, NYchowcook suggested something similar.

                    Turns out 'pesto' is really non-specific, many regions have pesto sauce, it simply means paste. What we think of as pesto, the bright green basil sauce, is pesto Genoese.

                    1. I grow basil.

                      Use it on sandwiches in addition to or as the green component. In salads with other herbs, etc.