Basil. I love it. And we have a small bounty of it right out our back door. It is hard to choose a favorite way to use these pungent green leaves of goodness. I’ll share a few of the ways we are enjoying our basil. I’m always looking for new ways to use up our sweet herbs, so please share if you have a favorite!
I love a good pesto, and my freezer will be stocked with it by the end of summer. I can make a meal of caprese salad, drenched in a beautiful, sweet, dark balsamic reduction. We made easy caprese croissants last night for dinner. It was a simple build of grated mozzy, thin sliced tomato and fresh picked basil leaves, toasted in a hot oven.
Basil compliments rich red marinara sauces and chunky bruschettas beautifully. A couple of basil leaves dropped into soup for a little twist is always a good idea. If you have never muddled basil with a little lemon juice and added it to a strawberry salad or cocktail… do it. It is delicious. Basil butter is a treat on homemade bread and rolls, and basil infused olive oil is great on pasta or for dipping.
Infusions are beautiful and easy and make for wonderful gifts from your herb garden. The basic steps are to start with a gourmet quality olive oil and fresh herbs that have been washed and dried thoroughly (wet leaves equal disaster), add oil and leaves (you can bruise them a bit to release oils) to a jar with a good seal and let sit for a couple of weeks, strain and rebottle. The results are divine.
There are a couple of different ways to dry basil for your pantry. A little research online will help you pick the way that will suit your lifestyle best. Here’s to the summer of basil! May you enjoy it in good health!