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Basil recipes other than pesto..

I've recently become somewhat enamored with basil. I love adding it to things, mixing it into cottage cheese with some fire roasted tomatoes, putting it on cheeseburgers, adding it to sandwiches, etc.. I have a big basil plant growing and I'd love some new recipes to use it in. The problem is, for the most part, I search "basil recipes" and either thai basil recipes come up, or just pesto. Can any one offer up some new recipes for me?


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  1. make basil oil. it keeps longer than the fresh herb, and you can use it in preparations where the leaves might turn bitter or muddy.


    1. Basil Liqueur!

      Italians make liqueurs with all sorts of aromatic fruits and berries. My bro-in-law gave me a recipe book that even calls for cutting young pine cones in half and infusing them in alcohol.

      Ok, so you put 40 basil leaves and 2 cups of grain alcohol (Everclear if you can get it, or Vodka) in a jar or container with a tight lid. Store it in a dark place for 4 weeks. Shake it every now and then. Then strain the basil leaves out of the alcohol and mix the (now green) alcohol with 2 cups of simple syrup (2 cups sugar/1 cup water) and pour it into a pretty bottle. A dash of this is really good in lemonade.

      1. you could do a baked stuffed tomato, using some chopped basil and a grain or wild rice or quinoa type product, with maybe some pork sausage in there, too.

        it is good to make a salsa type topping for garlic bread or bruschetta.

        it would be good in stir frying some ground pork

        i googled "italian basil" and got plenty of links. this one for chicken with basil and prosciutto was near the top. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/it...

        1. Finely chopped and added to the batter for a cheese omelet (any kind of cheese) and top with a sprinkle of Parmesan.
          Finely chopped and mixed into olive oil with some minced garlic (allow to rest in refrigerator for a couple of days) then toss with boiled spaghetti. Simple dish; very satisfying.
          Add it to bread dough for a basil herb bread or use it similarly in dinner rolls.
          Blend with goat cheese and use as filling for dinner crepes. (You could also use a ricotta here)

          1 Reply
          1. re: todao

            blend with goat cheese and stuff into ravioli, too!

          2. Basil sauce.

            Rough chop basil, toss with equal parts soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil, and then add some salt, pepper and diced garlic. Toss and refrigerate overnight.

            Goes great as a topping / sauce for things like pork loin, tuna, chicken, crostini, or even just as a spread for an Italian sub.

            4 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              oooh, sounds great for fish! hmm, i wonder how it'd make a tuna salad?

              1. re: alkapal

                I throw in chopped basil leaves all the time into my tuna and chicken (and salmon) salads all the time. Brings a nice "refershing" taste.

                  1. re: Philly Ray

                    that looks good, yes it does! thanks.

              2. One of my favorite dishes, Thai shrimp basil and Jasmine rice!

                I know it would be best with Thai Basil, but I've used my own regular Italian basil and it works beautifully. Make it spicy!

                and another one that I've done is cream and basil biscuits. Very nice, a recipe I discovered while obsessed with making tall and delcious biscuits for biscuits and gravy.

                1. I like it in salads - just use whole leaves as you would baby spinach, mixed with other baby greens or lettuces to cut the flavor if your basil is extra pungent. You can also use it half and half with spinach in spanakopita or any other type of spinach-filled thing. Half and half with spinach in dip recipes works too.

                  1. Make some basil jelly! It goes wonderfully with savoury dishes or with the usual goat's cheese and crackers.

                    You can also fry quickly which make the leaves crunchy and delicious sprinkled on pasta, risotto and hundreds of other things.

                    1. I hear you and I hate wasting good herbs! The above suggestions are all great. I'd add some easy ones: basil on bruschetta, basil in stir fries and of course pizza. Or basil tea? Just boil in water and add honey and a slice of lemon. Or basil lemonade.
                      Another take on pesto would be to add it to a small bowl of yogurt or sour cream for a dip.

                      1. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mi...

                        Basil Ice Cream (I crushed a chewable rosehip for the Vit C powder
                        )so delicious with a slice of chocolate pound cake

                        1. Basil and lemon granita or sorbet. So good.

                          Also, adding crushed basil to a passion fruit cordial and lemonade/soda drink. Works really well together.

                          1. Basil lemon cake. It's a vanilla cake with lots of fresh chopped basil and lemon zest. I don't have the recipe on me at the moment, but will try and remember to post it when I'm back home.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: mickeygee

                              Here's the Basil Lemon Cake

                              2 1/2 cups cake flour
                              2 1/2 tsp baking powder
                              1/2 tsp salt
                              1/2 cup butter, softened
                              1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
                              2 large eggs beaten
                              1/2 cup chopped basil
                              2 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
                              1 tsp vanilla extract
                              1 cup + 2 tbsp buttermilk
                              berries, whipped cream or ice cream

                              preheat oven to 375. Lightly oil a 9" springform pan
                              Medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt
                              Place butter an sugar in a large bowl and beat till creamy. Add eggs, basil, zest and vanilla. Beat till blended. Add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk (3 batches) and mix on low till smooth. Pour into pan and bake for 35-45 minutes.

                              It gets better the next day too, when the citrus flavor penetrates even more.

                            2. Spicy Thai Basil Chicken (Gai Pad Graprow)

                              Can be made with ground meat or diced/chunks. Usually I deep fry/shallow fry a ton a basil and add it as a garnish as well.

                              Something like this.


                              Thai and Vietnamese use basil/anise flavoured herbs quite a bit. Use their recipes as inspiration for using basil.

                              1. not a recipe really, but make a salad caprese and use mozzarella di bufala and little cherry tomatoes sliced in half & drizzled with a peppery EVOO, put on plate with sliced prosciutto (or my newest LOVE: speck from olli salumeria) and toasted italian bread slices. scatter your basil leaves around. combine bites in different arrangements for fun. close your eyes and taste "summer.'

                                i had this dish with burrata on friday at a local pizza place that gets it every friday and saturday shipped directly from naples, italy. info on burrata: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burrata

                                more burrata info: http://leitesculinaria.com/52411/writ...

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: alkapal

                                  The Caprese salad is definitely one of the best uses for basil. I put several leaves on the bottom slice of bread for grilled cheese sandwiches. Top with Havarti cheese, top that with thinly sliced tomatoes, top that with more cheese and grill til golden brown. The warm basil leaves give the lowly grilled cheese sandwich a fabulous flavor.

                                  1. re: alkapal

                                    mmm, i can't wait for tomato season!!! Jersey Beefsteaks always make the thought of braving the East Coast humidity to visit my family during the summer a bit more tolerable :)

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      You're right on about the Beefsteak tomatoes. We can't get them in Vegas since they don't travel well and no one raises them here so I'm told. I spend the summer in Michigan and the local farmers' markets have them all summer. I agree that the occassional humidity is worth it for the corn, tomatoes and fresh everything the markets offer.

                                  2. Basil Mango Summer rolls were a hit in my house this summer.

                                    1. Focaccia Burger ~~~ .Two pieces of your best Focaccia Bread...ground meat patty... fresh tomato....Mozzarella cheese, and copious amounts of basil....S&P with a drizzle of olive oil.......


                                      1. Blended gently into burger meat that you've added a bit of parmesan and some finely minced garlic and sundried tomatoes to: grilled and served with pesto-lemon mayo and arugula on a great bun.
                                        Basil leaves, chiffonade, are wonderful tossed into your green salad and dressed with a fresh basil/balsamico vinaigrette. (But we really, REALLY love basil here, so....).
                                        It's great in an Italian-themed rice or pasta salad, and most Asian foods require it...
                                        And when you roll back around to good old pesto, try butterflying a pork loin and spreading with pesto and minced garlic; re-rolling, tying and grilling it...or oven baking, and serve with rice/spinach stuffed grilled tomatoes.......crazy good combo.