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Apr 17, 2011 09:11 AM

I bought a fresh basil plant in my supermarket - now I need ideas on how to use it!

I love Ensalada Caprese - but need some other ideas. How do you use it? I'm interested in recipes to cook with it as well as in raw in salads etc. Thanks!

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  1. Have you ever made pesto, and if not, do you have a cookbook to walk you through the process? Actually, are you going to use it as a window plant or will you plant it outside? You might only get enough to make pesto if you plant it outside.

    1. Add a chiffonade to pasta with tomato sauce once it's plated; chop and add to homemade vinaigrettes; toss torn leaves into any green salad for a nice bright flavor. Great on sandwiches with roasted red peppers and a nice cheese.

      Basil doesn't hold up well to long cooking, it is best added at the last minute to cooked dishes else you lose the bright fresh flavor. I add it to home made tomato or other pasta sauces, and it can be used in Thai cooking as a substitute for Thai basil (I'm assuming you purchased genovese basil).

      And of course, basil's highest use is pesto as Jay F mentions.

      1 Reply
      1. re: janniecooks

        It is Genovese basil. Thanks for all the great ideas! I guess what I suspected was is best used fresh in pesto and salads and sandwiches. Look forward to trying!

      2. you might want to consider that basil is a member of the mint family... and imagine trading them experimentally... I've seen savory herbs used in desserts lately and I think it's a happy marriage. if you decide to make pesto I've always added a bit of curley parsley to the food processor to give the pesto a fresh green color.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Surfwench

          Buy more. It will be the beginning of something beautiful

        2. Thanks everyone for the ideas. More are welcome!