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Lots of basil

Monica Jul 31, 2013 08:07 AM

My friend gave me a large bag filled with basil.
Other than basil pesto, what can I do with so much basil?
I was thinking about sauteed thai basil chicken? and maybe tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
Any other ideas?

  1. slowcoooked Aug 2, 2013 07:07 AM

    Monica the best thing ever is to make a tomato basil pie. several 5 star recipes can be found on a google search and the pillsbury crust works fine.

    1. Monica Aug 2, 2013 06:02 AM

      I made egg omelette with chopped basil in it...while the flavor was good(obviously), I didn't like the texture...i didn't like chewing wilted basil with soft eggs...any thought?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Monica
        hotoynoodle Aug 2, 2013 06:44 AM

        the leaves can be kinda dense. i'd have whizzed it in the food pro with a smidge of oil.

        someone else mentioned herb salad and i love those in summer. you can add some cous cous or orzo for more body. preserved lemon, olives, bits of roasted red pepper or fresh garden cherry tomatoes. toss with great olive oil and squeeze of lemon. delish.

      2. breadwinner Aug 1, 2013 11:37 PM

        I cook with basil A LOT. Here's some ways I'ved used it:

        - pizza topping
        - sprinkled on chowder (mmm, corn chowder)
        - Szechuan style eggplant with basil
        - layered in eggplant parm or lasagna
        - quiche
        - coated on cheese for hors d'oeuvres
        - herb cream cheese, with fresh thyme, dill, parsley, garlic, etc
        - croutons or garlic bread
        - focaccia
        - sandwiches or panini (grilled cheese with basil and thinly sliced red onion makes a fulfilling lunch for me)
        - herbed roasted new potatoes or cherry tomatoes
        - egg or potato salad
        - roasted chicken
        - salad dressings

        Good luck using up your basil. Happy cooking!

        1. t
          tastesgoodwhatisit Aug 1, 2013 10:56 PM

          I like doing a basil heavy tomato and mushroom sauce. Saute very finely diced onions, mushrooms, garlic in olive oil, add tomatoes (canned is fine) and simmer. Toss in a lot of basil, and run it through the blender when cool. Freeze for later. It's good on ravioli.

          I'll typically use about 1 cup onion, 2 cups mushrooms, 1 cup packed basil and 3 cups canned tomatoes.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit
            sedimental Aug 2, 2013 03:22 AM

            That sounds really good!

          2. y
            youareabunny Aug 1, 2013 02:35 AM



            1. y
              youareabunny Jul 31, 2013 06:56 PM

              Fresh Spring rolls

              2 Replies
              1. re: youareabunny
                westsidegal Jul 31, 2013 10:36 PM

                i tried that last week with regular basil and was not pleased with the result.
                i need to find a local source of thai basil that does not require hours of driving. . . . .

                1. re: westsidegal
                  hotoynoodle Aug 2, 2013 06:41 AM

                  what do you mean regular basil? genovese vs. thai?

                  the wrappers are utterly neutral, so if you changed up the ingredients to cucumber and peas with a bit of fet, or small pieces of salmon, yours would be fine.

              2. s
                sedimental Jul 31, 2013 06:42 PM

                Basil oil or basil mint oil is really good and keeps a long time in the fridge or freezer.

                Oh, I also make a nice basil cello. Same way as lemon cello or other cellos except with basil. Really nice for a summer drink mixed with lemonade.

                1. BernalKC Jul 31, 2013 01:29 PM

                  You could dry it for use as an herb. Keeps well, and will almost certainly be fresher and more pungent than the store bought herb.

                  Basil is also a nice touch in various drinks. Most often its a minor component, but sometimes it gets blended into the drink in quantity.

                  1. greygarious Jul 31, 2013 01:26 PM

                    Keep it in a vase of water which you change daily. Refrigerating fresh basil makes it turn brown and wilty.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: greygarious
                      alwayshungrygal Aug 2, 2013 12:09 PM

                      This is a great tip, I was just going to start a thread on how to store basil. How long does it keep like this? And does it matter if it is kept in sunlight or not?


                      1. re: greygarious
                        Monica Aug 2, 2013 12:46 PM

                        I couldn't keep them in a vase because I have a bag full of basil leaves. I wrap them around with wet paper towels and put them back to the ziploc bag...it still looks good after 2 days. Thanks for the tip.

                      2. Uncle Bob Jul 31, 2013 12:57 PM

                        Making a pot of tomato and basil soup tomorrow night. Mmmmm!

                        1. s
                          seattle_lee Jul 31, 2013 12:53 PM

                          Basil butter, IME, keeps even better than pesto in the freezer. And keeps for quite a while just in the fridge.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: seattle_lee
                            Monica Jul 31, 2013 12:58 PM

                            I bought some olive bread today from my favorite bakery...basil butter sounds great on them.

                          2. m
                            MrsJonesey Jul 31, 2013 12:20 PM

                            Well, this doesn't use much, but Ina's Basil Mayonnaise is delicious. Oh, and once you make that pesto, her pesto pasta with peas is also delicious. I just picked basil, parsley, rosemary and sage to make a warm cannellini bean salad for dinner. I haven't made it before, but how can all that be bad, I say. It's from Serious Eats. Oh, I almost forgot, fresh (raw) tomato sauce with basil is the food of the gods!

                            1. s
                              Siegal Jul 31, 2013 12:11 PM

                              I keep hearing about the deliciousness of basil simple syrup in/on desserts and drinks. Haven't tried it but if you're feeling adventurous,

                              Maybe also a basil-y tomato sauce??

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Siegal
                                roro808 Jul 31, 2013 12:27 PM

                                I actually had ice cream with infused basil in an Indian resto. and it tasted really refreshing.

                              2. t
                                treb Jul 31, 2013 12:04 PM

                                Make an herb salad using basil, parsley, mint, arugula and chives or a white pizza with garlic, basil and figs. Also make basil ice cream, it's outstanding.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: treb
                                  Monica Jul 31, 2013 12:12 PM

                                  Last time I tried to make pizza, it came out too doughy..i couldn't handle the dough well but white pizza with fig sounds delicious.

                                  1. re: Monica
                                    treb Jul 31, 2013 12:22 PM

                                    Buy the dough at your fav super market or bakery. Also, make sure your oven is screaming hot.

                                2. RealMenJulienne Jul 31, 2013 11:54 AM

                                  Wilt a bunch of basil in olive oil and butter, then toss with pasta, grated parmesan and breadcrumbs.

                                  Make a pizza and layer on the basil. Basil even makes frozen pizza taste better.

                                  But the best way to use it up is Taiwanese "3 cups chicken". Mix 1 cup soy sauce, 1 cup rice wine and 1 cup sesame oil to make a braising liquid, then simmer with a pinch of sugar, a handful of chopped shallots and sliced ginger. Use the liquid to braise chicken drumsticks over low heat for about 1/2 hour. Add lots of basil leaves, then braise for another 1/2 hour until basil is wilted and liquid is almost completely evaporated into a sticky glaze. This is a salty dish that should be eaten with steamed rice.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: RealMenJulienne
                                    Monica Jul 31, 2013 11:59 AM

                                    Sounds delicious but 1 cup of sesame oil? You sure???

                                    1. re: Monica
                                      RealMenJulienne Jul 31, 2013 01:25 PM

                                      That's the classic ratio, but I admit I always use less. usually about 1/3 cup.

                                  2. m
                                    momoftwo Jul 31, 2013 08:59 AM

                                    Make a huge batch of pesto and freeze it in ice cube trays or small baggies. You will be huggung yourself in the dead of winter with a fresh basil pesto dinner!!! Lots of people say that when making it to freeze, leave out the cheese and add it when you actually use it. I have not found this to be necessary, myself.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: momoftwo
                                      roro808 Jul 31, 2013 10:59 AM


                                      1. re: momoftwo
                                        Monica Jul 31, 2013 11:17 AM

                                        I said other than pesto.....

                                        1. re: Monica
                                          weezieduzzit Jul 31, 2013 12:08 PM

                                          You can blend the basil with oil (but not make pesto) or even in just a tiny bit of water and freeze them like the Dorot packages that Trader Joes carries. Really handy for when you need just a touch of basil in a recipe or for popping into soups and stews in the winter time.

                                          Personally, I never get tired of caprese salads (and sandwiches when I still ate bread.)

                                      2. Uncle Bob Jul 31, 2013 08:29 AM

                                        Good on a hamburger.....etc.

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