10 Great Ways to Use Up Fresh Basil

by in Healthy Recipes, In Season, July 13, 2013

Pick up a bunch (or two!) of this fragrant herb while it’s in season. And don’t worry about how you’ll manage to use it all—there are just so many delicious ways.

Go the traditional route and whip up a mean pesto sauce. Use as a condiment or as a sauce for fish or pasta dishes.

Ina’s Pesto

Infused Oil
Infuse your favorite olive oil with basil. It only takes a few minutes!

Basil Oil

Having a few guests over? Whip up simple finger foods using fresh basil leaves.

Tomato Mozzarella and Basil Bruschetta
Black Pepper Basil Farmers Cheese Bruschetta
Tomato, Watermelon and Basil Skewers

Vegetable Soups
Whip up a batch of a summer veggie soup–add ribbons of chopped basil for more seasonal flair.

Tomato Basil Soup
Summer Squash Soup with Basil

Basil pairs nicely with a wide variety of seasonal veggies. Just chop and toss into your favorite salad.

Lemon Basil Pasta Salad
Potato, Tomato, Corn and Basil Salad

Toss whole basil leaves on your favorite pizza when it’s hot out of the oven. Delicious!

Mushroom, Onion and Basil Pizza
Pizza with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil

Fish & Seafood Dishes
Tomato and basil are a match made in seafood heaven. Combine with shrimp or halibut for a delicious main dish.

Halibut with Pepitas, Capers, Cherry Tomatoes and Basil
Thai Shrimp Stir-Fry with Tomatoes and Basil- Slimmed
Garlic Basil Shrimp
Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Lemon, Basil and Salmon

Use aromatic basil to punch up your everyday sides.

Sauteed Asparagus with Olives and Basil
Roasted Peppers with Basil

Frozen Desserts

Basil also goes well with fruit like watermelon, lime, lemon, mango and strawberries. Combine for variety of mouthwatering frozen treats.

Basil Lemon Ice
Basil and Lime Sorbet
Strawberries with Basil Granita


Don’t forget your cocktails! Muddle basil into lemon or berry-based drinks to balance out the sweetness.

Fresh Strawberry Balsamic Basil Daiquiri

What to Look For
At the market, choose basil with bright green leaves and avoid those with black, brown or yellow spots.

How to Store
Once you get home, place the cut stems in a container of water and keep it on the windowsill for about a week. The water should be changed every other day. You can also store basil wrapped in a damp paper towel in the refrigerator drawer for up to 4 days.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

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Comments (12)

  1. […] View Original Article Filed Under: Articles · […]

  2. h2onetwork.tv says:

    Basil infused olive oil…nothing better !

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  4. breelin says:

    find basil recipe at http://www.freshbasil.us/

  5. […] you want to find more recipes that use fresh basil, check out this blog post from the food network for some more great […]

  6. […] you want to find more recipes that use fresh basil, check out this blog post from the Food Network for some more great […]

  7. […] narrowing of the arteries.”28 Check out these ways to use fresh basil in your cooking from Food Network’s Healthy Eats, Pinterest, and Huffington […]

  8. […] – some ideas to use up fresh basil at this link. Basil can also be dried for later use, or put in a blender with oil or water and frozen in ice […]

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