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May 28, 2009 11:08 AM

Lemon Basil - What to do with it?

I bought a wonderfully fragrant, deliciously fresh bunch of lemon basil at the Farmer's Market on Tuesday and cannot figure out what to do with it. On Tuesday I tried it in a quinoa dish with sauteed onions, mushrooms, and asparagus sprinkled with parmesan cheese, but it just wasn't really working. Last night I made a carrot-ginger soup flavored with garam masala and tried to use it as a garnish, but again, the flavors just didn't quite meld properly. I want to use it in something delicious before it goes all wilty on me! Any tips?

I found this thread which seems to focus on using it for pesto, which sounds like a great idea (especially because I have so much of it)! If I went this route does anyone have some tips on good substitutions for pine nuts? Too expensive for my blood . . ..

I'd love ideas basides pesto as well.

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  1. go out and buy some fish. i grew it years ago and the only way i liked[actualy i loved it] it was with fish.

    1. I make an amazing lemon basil chicken, sauteed chicken dredged in a little flour with lemon pepper, then sauteed in butter, Add some shallot if you want, white wine to deglaze, then some white wine, cream, and fresh lemon basil and remove from heat and fresh lemon. Grilled or sauteed lemons are also good. Serve over pasta, spinach or lemon pepper pasta is best but any works. It is great and easy. It is an amazing dish

      Let me know if you want full ingredients

      2 Replies
      1. re: kchurchill5

        Nice idea, Kim. I was playing around with some of these ingredients a couple of weeks ago (shallot, lemon, ricotta). I will have to try it with the addition of the lemon basil. Thanks!

        1. re: kattyeyes

          Welcome, always a favorite and many ways to make it. My recipes are always flexible. Add this take away that. It is really tasty and good flavor.

          Lemon and ricotta is great. I could see a nice rolled lasagna with minced chicken, lemon basil, lemon zest, some mozz, thyme and a simple bechemel sauce and maybe some fresh spinach in the filling. Fennel would be a nice addition as well. sort of lasagna or manicotti rolls with the same flavors. I may have to try a version this weekend. Even ravioli, chicken/spinach/lemon zest/shallots/ricotta with a creamy lemon basil sauce. Who knows. Sunday play time :)

      2. one more thing. put the basil stems in a glass of water and they will last a lot longer

        1. Basil pesto is great over spinach pasta with lemon zest and roasted asparagus, shallots and shrimp. Marinate the shrimp in lemon, olive oil, oregano, s/p then grill, broil and pan saute. The best.

          A great fresh salad with roasted asparagus, roasted red peppers, fresh lemons grilled, and grilled romaine. Toss all and then serve with a lemon basil vinaigrette with fresh gouda cheese.

          1. Cocktails! Lemon juice, vodka, basil simple syrup, maybe a little club soda depending on whether you go up or rocks, fresh sprig to tickle your nose.