Bounties of Basil

by in Recipes, August 26th, 2011

Bright, fragrant and practically singing with quintessential summertime flavor, fresh basil can transform your dish from common and plain to exciting and extra special.  This in-season herb is most traditionally featured in Italian pasta sauces, sprinkled atop pizza and served with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. However, the possibilities for using these smooth green leaves are simply endless. Pick up a bunch today and try our creative and unique recipes highlighting basil’s classic flavor. adds a kick to basic burgers with its recipe for Basil Parmesan Hamburgers, made with sweet basil, salty Parmesan cheese and fresh garlic. Grill to a juicy medium temperature, and top with roasted tomatoes or caramelized onions for a decadent barbecue favorite.

Made like traditional risotto but ready to eat in less than 30 minutes, Kelsey Nixon’s Lemon-Basil Orzotto from Cooking Channel boasts light, refreshing flavors of fruity citrus and herbs. Serve as a hearty lunch or side to grilled chicken or fish for an easy, summertime supper.

The ultimate healthy dessert, Strawberries With Basil Granita from Food Network Magazine uses hulled-out, ruby-red strawberries as bite-sized cups to hold frozen basil granita. Make this a family-friendly treat by substituting sparkling apple or grape juice for the wine.

Not just used in substantial foods, basil shines in cool drinks as well. Food 2’s thirst-quenching Muddled Pink Peppercorn and Basil Limeade features muddled spicy peppercorns and basil leaves topped with fresh lime juice. Transform this classic into an adults-only summer sipper with a splash of vodka.

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