Tag: basil

7 Summer Dishes That Aren’t Complete Without Basil

by in Healthy Recipes, August 4, 2016

It’s that time of year when basil is abundant everywhere we turn, from our own herb gardens to top restaurants’ menus. We’re finding the fragrant green leaves torn and mixed with salad greens, muddled at the bottom of highball glasses, blended into ice cream and pulsed with garlic, Parmesan and pine nuts until a fragrant pesto sauce comes into being. Part of the beauty of this leafy summer herb is its approachability; in other words, you don’t need to be a trained chef in order to dream up some creative takes on it. If you’re like us and keep a fresh bundle in a vase on your countertop all season long, waiting for the perfect excuse to snip off a few leaves, then you just found a reason to celebrate. Here are seven in-season (and healthy!) dishes that just won’t suffice without basil.

In its purest form, this rustic summer appetizer consists of toasted baguette slices topped with an ample scoop of chopped tomatoes, garlic, onions and basil. A snack this simple is only as good as its ingredients, so splurge on the freshest produce you can find — especially the basil, which makes a gorgeous leafy topper for each neatly portioned bite in Giada De Laurentiis’ Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Bruschetta recipe.

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Market Watch: Basil

by in Farmers' Market Finds, In Season, July 27, 2016

Fresh herbs are flourishing at the local markets. Head out and grab some basil to make these exciting and unexpected recipes.

Basil Facts
Basil is rich in nutrients like vitamins A and C, plus it contains phytochemicals — good-for-you plant-based compounds. Since you probably don’t eat cups of herbs at a time, using small amounts daily in a wide range of recipes allows for the nutrients to stack up.

Basil options are more diverse than you might think. Look for beautiful bouquets of common varieties like “sweet” or “Christmas” for tomato sauce and salads. Try cinnamon basil on fruit salad or spicy Thai basil with noodle and rice dishes. The deep-purple leaves of opal basil make a showstopping pesto or pizza topper.

What to Do with Basil
Basil can be stored like flowers in a small glass of water on the counter for a couple of days. You can also store leaves loosely wrapped in a plastic bag with some paper towels in the veggie drawer of the fridge.

Stack those aromatic leaves on sandwiches, toss them into salad greens, or mash them into hummus, pesto and guacamole. Basil can also be used for dessert, incorporated into frozen treats like sorbet and ice pops. Read more

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

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Herb of the Month: Basil

by in Healthy Recipes, In Season, August 1, 2011
basil on pizza
Basil on pizza, one of the many ways to use this versitle herb.

In parts of Italy, men sport a sprig of basil on their lapel if they’re looking for love. Although an interesting fashion statement, we’ll enjoy basil as part of our healthy eats instead.

Basil Basics
The herb basil (Ocimum basilicum, Labiatae) is part of the mint family. It seems to have originated in India about 4,000 years ago. The ancient Greeks called it the “King of Herbs.” The herb gained popularity in England in the 16th century and was brought to the Americas by English explorers.

Basil can be found in different shapes, sizes, and colors — there are over 60 varieties. The most common are large-leaf Italian sweet, purple opal, Thai, lemon, tiny-leaf and African blue. Sweet Italian (a.k.a. sweet Genovese) is probably the one most recognized. The bright green leaves are rounded, have a pungent flavor that’s a cross between licorice and cloves.

The main producer in the U.S. is California, but basil is also grown commercially in India, Israel, Mexico, Yugoslavia, Italy and Morocco.

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Basil 5 Ways

by in Uncategorized, June 24, 2010
Parmesan Basil Frico
Giada's Parmesan-Basil Wafers

The basil plants in my garden are getting ready to explode –- in a few short weeks I’ll have bunches and bunches on my hands. Here are 5 different ways to use this fresh and flavorful herb.

See our favorite basil recipes »

Grow Your Own: Herbs

by in In Season, June 2, 2010


They’re just tiny sprouts right now, but in a few weeks the herbs in my garden will be flourishing. Growing your own herbs is easy, and you don’ t need loads of space to do it.  Start them now and enjoy them all summer long!  Here are some tips to get you started.

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Spotlight Recipe: Garlic and Herb Tomatoes

by in Healthy Recipes, July 27, 2009

Garlic and Herb Tomatoes
Pick up a few pints of cherry or grape tomatoes to make this quick dish. Tomatoes are an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin C, and fresh basil, parsley and thyme add in some vitamin K and potassium. The tomatoes in this salad are gently warmed, which enhances their sweetness and makes them a nice complement to chicken, fish or scrambled eggs.

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Market Watch: Garlic Scapes

by in Farmers' Market Finds, Healthy Recipes, July 15, 2009

Chances are you won’t find garlic scapes anywhere but your farmers’ market or CSA box. They’re often passed over because people may not be sure what they are. Take advantage of this local food delicacy, but act fast, the curly green shoots are only available for a short time.

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Top 5 Herbs for Healthy Cooking

by in Healthy Tips, April 6, 2009

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — herbs are an easy way to give low-cal flavor to many dishes. Better still, you add extra nutrients such as vitamins A and C, fiber and phytochemicals. Looking to explore? Here are our five favorites and ways to use them.

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Spotlight Recipe: Parmesan, Basil & Lemon Wafers (Frico)

by in Healthy Recipes, February 16, 2009

Parmesan Basil and Lemon Wafers
These delicate wafers are the perfect companion for soup or a salad and a good alternative to a cracker. Basil and lemon add flavor and freshness. Try experimenting with other types of herbs such as thyme or rosemary.

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