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Jan 1, 2011 09:24 PM

Please Help me decide Dried Basil v. Fresh Basil or none in a frittata recipe

I have a Spinach sundried tomato frittata recipe that calls for asiago cheese, shallots, two tablespoons of fresh basil and other spices. I could not find any fresh basil today (New Years Day) in the only grocery open.......... Can I substitute dried basil? And, if so, how much to equal 2 tbsp. of fresh? Or, should I just leave it out? Help!! Making it for brunch tomorrow morning!! Thanks. Recipe is below..........

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  1. OK, there has to be SOMEONE awake who has some thoughts on this!! Anyone?!!

    3 Replies
    1. re: rjlebed

      Do remember the hour of the post. Lots of folks are either sleeping or out and about.

      I've little use for dried basil. You have anything else fresh on hand you could substitute? Most any other fresh herb would pair well, from rosemary to tarragon. Heck, even some roughly chopped cilantro or parsley would be nice. If you do go with dried, I believe the general ratio is one measure of dried herb per three measures of fresh herb---in your case, two teaspoons of dried basil.

      1. re: eight_inch_pestle

        Thanks so much. Was just panicking a bit since I wanted to get everything ready tonight to cook tomorrow...... I forget that other folks actually sleep more than the 5 hours that I get/need! I do have some cilantro. And, my instinct was that dried was not going to be good. I think that I will try the cilantro and I am pretty sure that the other flavors will be fine. Thanks again! Will let you know how it turned out....

    2. Dried basil rarely works in anything. I'd leave it out if I had no substitute. Eight Inch Pestle's suggestions are good. Some recipes work well with fresh mint or a mixture of mint and parsley. Failing that, you might even think of spinach, briefly pre-cooked and squeezed "dry". If you want a bit of interesting herb bite, try a bit of thyme.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Father Kitchen

        Well, I decided to get up crack of dawn and head to the store for some fresh basil. The frittata was good but I don't think it was great. Not sure what it was missing but perhaps I need to add something for a little zip like tabasco..... I will try it again and see what I can add to make it pop. But, in a pinch for a vegetarian option it was not bad...... Thanks for your suggestions everyone!

        1. re: rjlebed

          I would use more onion product, maybe some garlic, Romano cheese instead of asiago, and I like to cook my frittata in a pan with a decent amount of olive oil to set it, then finish it in the oven. I recommend using Marcella Hazan's books for really yummy frittata recipes. Here's one:

          1. re: rjlebed

            i agree with visciole that increasing the onion and replacing the Asiago with Pecorino (or Parm) would give it more bite. a little acid would also elevate the flavor - try a splash of sherry vinegar with the shallot, and make sure it evaporates/reduces before adding the spinach to ensure that you concentrate the flavor and don't turn the spinach grey/brown.

            and yes, IMO hot sauce is *always* a welcome addition with eggs...try Cholula or Tabasco Chipotle with this recipe.

        2. Here in Austin fresh basil is pretty much gone for the season but sage is still looking good. I have been using it a lot lately various savory dishes and really like it. It would probably go well in a frittata with sun dried tomatoes. As regards tabasco, it is always a good idea (although I usually use Cholula). A little finely minced serrano would also be tasty and provide a little bite.

          1. The dried basil should work ok. This is the fritatta recipe that I use on a regular basis.

            Spinach / Zucchini Quiche/ Frittata

            Saute: 1 garlic clove, diced
            1 onion, chopped
            3 zucchini, chopped
            1 red pepper, chopped

            In a large bowl, lightly beat 6 eggs
            Add: 16 oz spinach (frozen, thawed), or 1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed (added to saute above at end).
            1/4 tsp black pepper
            1 cup cottage cheese
            1 cup mozzarella cheese grated
            1 1/2 t dried basil
            zucchini mix

            Spoon into 10 inch deep dish pie crust for quiche or into pie pan for frittata
            Sprinkle with romano, asiago, parmesano. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

            1. I would stick with the fresh basil if at all possible. My New Year's Day frittata (Ina Garten's Potato-Basil Frittata) calls for Gruyere and lots of it, and I thought it was great. For extra zip I would definitely add garlic next time, and I also love the idea of the chipotle Tabasco. What did your guests think?