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May 28, 2009 11:43 AM

fresh basil

I have a large pot that I planted with basil this year and it is already going crazy. Does anyone have suggestions for ways to use it? I got pesto and bruschetta. I also can put in spaghetti sauces and such but they just kind of get lost in there so it doesn't really showcase them. I would like at least a couple of ways to use them. TIA

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  1. I use basil in omelets, in soups and stews, and sometimes I chop it very fine and include it in sandwiches (especially those where I use a "salad" style mixture e.g chicken salad, etc.)

    1. Basil simple syrup for cocktails? It's really great in coctails. :)

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ali

        Oh yeah, I forgot about that. And in tea for some!

      2. Chop up equal parts basil and spinach in the food processor. Mix with ricotta or cottage cheese, egg, and sliced roasted red peppers. Pour into a pie crust, sprinkle with pine nuts, and bake. This makes a great tart.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Pia

          A Spinach/Basil Quiche - sounds wonderful. Thanks for the recipe.

          1. re: Pia

            Pia, is that pie crust pre-baked before adding the filling? Just checking...sounds very delish!

            1. re: Val

              Yes, pre-baked. Sometimes I sprinkle some cheese on the crust before baking too. Sorry the recipe is kind of vague. There's a great place in Boston called Petsi Pies and this is my approximation of their spinach-ricotta tart, but I always just throw everything together. Also, todao, while I think it would work as a quiche, I use just enough egg to bind it -- maybe around 1 egg, a cup of ricotta, 2-3 cups of spinach/basil mixture (after chopping), and 1/2 cup roasted red pepper. Some sharper grated cheese, like Parmesan, is also a good addition, as is a little roasted garlic. Also, don't cook the spinach and basil before chopping -- it has a nice fresh springy taste uncooked.

          2. Last night we had what my kids call "Mommy Pasta" - whole wheat spaghetti sauced with peanut butter, tahini, soy sauce, garlic, rice vinegar etc - you get the idea -sort of vaguely Asian. My kids love this. At any rate - critical to the dish are fresh limes and A TON of julienned fresh basil as garnish. Fresh basil is great on lots of foods - anything with eggs, eggplant or any summer squash, mixed into ricotta or similar cheeses, with pears, any salad with tomato, cold rice salad with chunks of mozzarella, any sort of pasta salad, on top of sliced ripe peaches, etc, etc.
            As you can tell I love fresh basil - I suggest that you try it on virtually everything to find your favorite combinations.
            Good eating!

            1. I like it on pizza with prosciutto and fontina. I guess it would be good on any pizza. My basil goes crazy too so I dry some for me and some for the neighbors. They all know I'm the one to come to for dried herbs.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mrsfury

                I would ask you now how you dry it but I would probably never remember come fall! I've always made pesto and froze it icetrays any that was left. Nice little touch to add in the middle of winter.