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Fresh Basil

  • k

I have more fresh basil than I know what to do with. Besides pesto, which I already have made, can anyone suggest recipes that use a lot of basil?

Thank you.

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  1. I made meatballs a while back that called for a loooot of basil, I think.

    Have a party and serve mozzerella/tomato/basil appetizers? That should decimate your plant pretty quick!

    1. We discovered by accident that a sprig of fresh bsil in a gin and tonic is very good.

      You can also make basil jelly, follow the same recipe any book n jams and jellies gives for mint jelly. The basil jelly is pretty and goes nicely with meats.

      1. make compound butter, roll in wax paper and freeze.

        muddle it with strawberries for mojitos.

        julienne a big pile of it. mix it in a large bowl with chopped tomatoes, olive oil and salt and pepper. let sit at room temp for several hours. cook up a big pot of linguine. while that cooks, chop some brie or goat cheese into the basil mix. pour the hot cooked pasta over the mix and combine. the aromas are heavenly. finish with lemon zest.

        1. Use it in place of lettuce on sandwiches. Particularly good on chicken or tomato sandwiches. Pile it on. I use an amazing quantity this way.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MakingSense

            I use it instead of lettuce on burgers, especially Lamb burgers!

          2. Here's a good pasta recipe from Bon Appetit I cook that uses fistfuls of the stuff. I use chicken thighs instead of rabbit.


            1. make salad dressing
              add to eggs, quiche, deviled eggs
              mash with garlic and spread over a whole chicken to roast
              make fresh spaghetti sauce and freeze it for a future basil inspired meal
              freeze indiv leaves in ice cubes for future stews, soups
              fold into a soft cheese, roll in nuts and serve with water crackers

              1. You all are great! Thank you for the creative ways to use the basil. The ideas and recipes sound delicious.

                1. This is a nice summer pasta dish I like that uses an entire cup of fresh basil. For me, it's about an entire basil plant.

                  Spicy Spinach Linguine with Olive Oil and Garlic

                  12 ounces spinach linguine
                  6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
                  1 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
                  4 garlic cloves, minced
                  ½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
                  ½ cup dry white wine
                  1 ½ cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese divided

                  Cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to same pot.

                  Meanwhile, heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ½ cup basil, garlic, and crushed red pepper; stir 1 minute. Add wine and boil until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Add mixture from skillet, remaining ½ cup basil, and ¾ cup cheese to pasta. Toss over medium heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved pasta liquid by ¼ cupfuls if dry. Season with salt and pepper (I did not do this). Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with remaining ¾ cup cheese.

                  1. Chiffonade a whole bunch and add to any pasta with lots of fresh vegetables, eg. green peas, ribboned zucchini, asparagus, roast peppers. This is presuming a base of caramelized onions/shallots/garlic. Then stir through your chiffonade. A turn of white truffle oil and a sprinkling of good sea salt (I SWEAR by Maldon salt) and a couple grinds of fresh pepper. If you want to guild the lily, then grate some good parmaggiano reggiano over the whole shebang.

                    1. Two ideas:
                      Chop it up and freeze with a little h2o in your ice cube tray for use this fall when you are not "rolling in it!" :o) or just add it to any green salad, as you would arugula, etc. It tastes great!!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: cookingk

                        This is exactly what I would do, too. You can buy big square ice cube makers in silicone at places like Ikea and Home Goods, and they give you a decent amount of frozen basil. Basil is also nice on sandwiches as a substitute for greens.

                        1. re: brendastarlet

                          I just potted one small basil plant, which has grown into a huge basil plant! I tried growing cilantro at the same time, but that plant isn't going to make it...

                      2. Just a question. Did you just buy a lot of plants or did you begin them from seed? I have just started growing my first garden and amazed by the changes that can suddenly appear. I love the idea of knowing where my food has come from.

                        1. Here in Mexico, a pot of basil is always outside the front door of any small business. Legend has it that the basil wards off evil and attracts money.

                          Put a pot of it by the front door of your house!

                          Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

                          1. I like to make a pesto base ... just the garlic, basil, and olive oil (in the Cusinart) and freeze in either ice cube trays or larger amounts in small plastic baggies. Later you can add the cheese and nuts for any pesto recipe, or just use as is for pizza, or to finish a soup.

                            1. Made this last night and it turned out well...

                              Made a caprese salad of chopped tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, chiffonade of basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Made pockets in some boneless/skinless chicken using a paring knife and stuffed the breasts with the caprese salad mix. Seasoned the outside of the chicken and grilled over direct heat for a few minutes to get some grill marks, then moved to indirect heat and allowed to come to 160* internal temp. Everyone liked it, but next time I might brine the chicken first (the thin areas were a little to dry IMO) and use a little pesto on the outside while the chicken is cooking over indirect heat.

                              1. Put the plant(s) in a vase or container as you would freshly cut flowers. Basil is a great natural air freshener. When the plants expire let them dry and store the dried basil.

                                1. You can make tomato, basil, and mozzarella pizza. I use a store bought pizza crust and put shredded mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, and whole basil leaves on it, then bake it. Its super easy and delicious!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Trina242

                                    Sounds delicious and reasonably healthy too.