- Drinks. Unlike some herbs, such as rosemary, basil has a subtle earthy quality that's not overpowering. Think of it like mint and use the delicate leaves in a beverage or cocktail. Add muddled basil to lemonade, bellinis, or gimlets.
- Salads. Basil is an essential ingredient to Caprese salad, but it also adds freshness to any mixed green salad. Simply toss torn basil leaves with greens and you've got a sophisticated take on the mixed green salad.
Get the rest of my ideas after the break.
- Sandwiches. Instead of putting lettuce in your everyday sandwich, substitute basil leaves. They're delicious on everything from turkey with tomatoes to peaches with pancetta.
- Desserts. When combined with sugary components, basil makes a sweet treat. At a seminar at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Gail Simmons demonstrated a scrumptious-looking basil and pistachio ice cream pie. Basil also makes a refreshing and palette-cleansing sorbet.
- Pasta. Don't just toss basil with cooked pasta, but instead, make homemade basil pasta! Add pureed basil to the dough before rolling out the pasta.
- Infuse oil. Capture the essence of basil and use it in the months to come by making an infused oil. Steep warm oil with lots of basil leaves for a long-lasting pantry essential. Or puree oil with basil for a quick and flavorful use-now flavoring agent.
What's your favorite use for basil?