Are you overrun with basil yet? If it’s not currently happening to you…it soon will. I’ll never understand how one little basil plant gets so huge that it seems like I’ve got 5o basil plants. This post is Part 3 of my annual series: What the hell am I supposed to do with all this basil? Fresh basil recipes to help get you through the deluge.
I started doing these fresh basil recipes posts 3 years ago now, and they seem to have taken on a life of their own. I’m heartened to know that I’m not the only one that has this delicious green monster taking over their kitchen and garden.
My first fresh basil recipes post contained a couple of my favorites: fresh basil oil (perfect for drizzling over salads, especially caprese salads) and a basil anchovy sauce that will make you forget all about that boring basic basil pesto sauce. There have been a few offshoots from this basic post too. How about a basil olive oil ice cream recipe? Yes, this is something you want to make this summer.
My next fresh basil recipes post included a recipe for basil sauce that will have you shoving that jar of mayo to the way back recesses of your refrigerator. The other recipe is for a great summer refresher: basil lemonade. Of course you can make this kid and adult friendly.
This year’s fresh basil recipes include a couple of easy recipes and one that’s a bit harder to make, but not that hard.
How ’bout we start with the basil cocktail? I had something similar to this on a recent visit to one of our favorite restaurants. I like including fresh basil in cocktail recipes because it adds just a touch of herbal flavor to some of my favorite spirits. While this isn’t going to use up bushels of basil, it’s another way to use the herb in a less than conventional way. Plus, the cocktail recipe from the restaurant used a store bought basil vodka. Why buy a specialty bottle of booze when you can make up the same thing at home. And this cocktail recipe doesn’t even require time to make an infusion. Just mash up a leaf while your making up the drink. Want something a little fruitier? How about this strawberry basil gimlet?
Instead of putting basil on top of the pasta, how about putting the basil inside the pasta? This next use for all that basil is a fresh basil pasta. How cool does that look? I couldn’t quite decide on a shape so half was cut as tagliatelle and the other half was turned into bow tie pasta. How did I do that? It’s called laminating. I laid individual basil leaves between two sheets of pasta and continued to roll it out. Yes, each one of those shapes is a single fresh basil leaf. I topped this pasta off with a simple olive oil, garlic and fresh tomato sauce. You could really taste the basil in this. And if you’ve ever thought about making fresh pasta, this is definitely a recipe worth trying out.
The final recipe for using up all that fresh basil is a great one for using up a large quantity at one time. The photo at the top of this post is basil lemon salad dressing. This is a bit thicker than your usual salad dressing, but you can thin it out with more olive oil if you like. I’ve been keeping a jar of this in the refrigerator and spooning it over salads, using to to top roasted chicken, mixing it into yogurt for a delicious sandwich spread and in potato salad. Oh, and you can also use it as a great topping for grilled tri-tip or flank steak. I suggest you just make up a huge batch of it – it’s just so versatile.
Hopefully these fresh basil recipes posts will help you get through all that basil you have this year. Maybe, you’ll like these recipes so much you’ll go out and get even more basil. (I’ve been known to do that on more than one occasion already this summer.)
So bust out the basil and have a great summer!!!
- 2 Ounces Vodka
- 1½ Tablespoons St. Germaine
- 1 Basil Leaf
- 1 1½” Piece Cucumber
- Squirt of Lime Juice
- Add first 4 ingredients to cocktail shaker and muddle the basil leaf and cucumber well.
- Taste, and add lime juice to taste (or skip this step and garnish glass with lime wedge).
- Add ice to shaker, stir well.
- Strain and pour into cocktail glass.
- 1½ Cups AP Flour
- ½ Cup Semolina Flour*
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1 Large Egg Yolk
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- Basil Leaves
- Mix flours together and form a well in the center.
- Drop eggs and yolk in the well and mix eggs into flour.
- Add olive oil to help add moisture if mixture is too dry and not getting a bit sticky.
- Once blended, knead dough until it becomes well blended and is a bit elastic. It should not be sticky. If it’s still sticky, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Form dough into ball, slightly flatten the ball and wrap in plastic wrap.
- Set dough aside for 30-60 minutes.
- Cut dough into quarters and roll into sheets either by hand or with your pasta machine.
- Just before the pasta gets to your final desired thickness, cut sheet of dough in half and (about 2 rolls before the final thickness) arrange the leaves on one half of the pasta dough. If leaves have thick stems, cut them out (they’ll poke through the final dough if you don’t remove them).
- Cover the leaves with the other half of the dough and continue to roll to desired thickness.
- Loosely fold and cut into ribbons or cut out dough and pinch into bow tie pasta (or cut into desired shape).
- Let pasta dry for a couple of hours then cook in a large pot of salted water just until it floats to the top.
- Drain and serve as you wish.
- ¾ Cup (packed) Basil Leaves
- ¼ Cup (packed) Mint Leaves
- 1 Clove Garlic
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- Juice of ½ Lemon
- ¼ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ Teaspoon Honey
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- ⅓ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Add all ingredients, except for olive oil, to a food processor.
- While pureeing the ingredients, drizzle in the olive oil.
- If you would like the dressing to be thinner, add more olive oil to get the consistency you desire.
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