9 Ways to Eat Basil with (or for) Every Meal

June  8, 2015

Basil is a summer workhorse. It grows like a weed in windowsill gardens, smells like a dream, looks as good as it smells, and tastes even better. We put it in, on, and with just about everything, from Caprese salad (and all of its variants) and pesto to ice cream. Eat it sweet or savory, eat it hot or cold—whatever you do, grab a bunch from the grocery store or market (or your herb garden) and eat it!

Here are 9 ways to include basil in each and every one of your summer meals:

Start with a cocktail:

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Basil-Vodka Gimlet by Oui, Chef

Basil-Vodka Gimlet


Make a dressing, infuse an oil, or blend into a sauce:

Roasted Tomato, Whipped Buratta, and Basil Oil Soup by inpatskitchen

Roasted Tomato, Whipped Burrata, & Basil Oil Soup


Grilled Corn with Basil Butter by lisina

Grilled Corn with Basil Butter


Amanda Cohen's Secret Weapon Stir-Fry Sauce (for Vegetable Fried Rice & More) by Genius Recipes

Secret Weapon Stir-Fry Sauce


Basil Buttermilk Ranch Dressing by Tara O'Brady

Basil Buttermilk Ranch Dressing 


Snip, layer, and chop it into sandwiches and stews:

Pan Bagnat: Le French Tuna Salad Sandwich by Waverly

Pan Bagnat


Sun-Dried Tomato, Basil, and White Bean Burgers by Kendra Vaculin

Sun-Dried Tomato, Basil, and White Bean Burgers


Alice Waters' Ratatouille by Genius Recipes

Alice Waters' Ratatouille


Bring out basil's sweet side: 

Lemon Basil Sherbet by Sandy Smith

Lemon Basil Sherbet

Photos by James Ransom, Bobbi Lin, Food52, Tara O'Brady, Karen Mordechai

What are your favorite ways to use basil? Share with us in the comments!

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1 Comment

AntoniaJames June 8, 2015
I used standard basil -- growing magnificently now in a pot on the landing under my kitchen window - instead of Thai basil last night in this favorite recipe: A basic template derived from this recipe has become such a workhorse in my kitchen.
Another perfect use for basil is this: Especially nice, I suppose, for those who contend with high heat and humidity in the summer. ;o)