25 Ways to Use Basil

By: Contributor

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Basil plants everywhere else have grown wild this summer and now you’re probably wondering what you’re going to do with the rest of your abundant supply.

Your first instinct is probably to make a boatload of pesto. Do it. One can never have too much pesto. But once you’ve tired of pesto, it’s time to branch out with your basil options. The beautiful thing about basil is that it’s naturally sweet, so adding it to desserts (pair it with strawberries and ricotta) isn’t too much of a stretch.

Use up the rest of your basil supply with these 25 recipes:
  1. Drizzle Basil Oil over some sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella for a classic Caprese salad.
  2. Lemon Basil Potatoes make for a fresh alternative to mayo-heavy potato salads.
  3. Pulse together some Italian staples like garlic, basil and Parmesan for a simple side dish on Italian night, Basil Garlic Bread.
  4. Giada’s Tomato, Watermelon and Basil Skewers (pictured above) are drizzled with a balsamic reduction and sprinkled with some sea salt, making for a fresh balance of sweet and savory.
  5. Kelsey Nixon’s take on risotto, Lemon-Basil Orzotto, is a quick and easy weeknight dinner fix.
  6. A Supper of Zucchini, Tomatoes and Basil utilizes fresh summer veggies and makes for a filling Meatless Monday meal or a side dish any night.
  1. Cool and refreshing, Basil Ice Cream is the perfect easy summer treat; you don’t even need to whip out the ice cream maker for this one.
  2. Basil Pesto is a great way to use up any extra basil you have in the house. Make a big batch and freeze it in an ice cube tray for single servings to have on hand.
  3. Breakfast anytime: Frittata with Tomatoes, Onions and Basil.
  4. Making a puff pastry is a labor of love, but if you don’t have the time, break out a store-bought frozen puff pastry for Lorraine Pascale’s Tomato and Basil Tarte Tatin.
  5. Mark Bittman’s Scallops with Cream and Basil will be on the table in less than 20 minutes.
  6. A quick sear on the grill is all you need for a rare Grilled Tuna Steak with Basil Pesto.
  7. For when you need to wake up your taste buds: Prawns in Apple Basil Curry utilizes garam masala, coriander, paprika, turmeric and red chile flakes to complement the apples and basil.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

  1. Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Lemon, Basil and Salmon is a quick, light meal. Just sear the salmon while the pasta cooks, and then toss the pasta in a no-cook dressing of lemon juice, zest, capers and basil.
  2. Serve Lara Calder’s Shrimp with Garlic and Basil Oil on its own as an appetizer or whip up a batch of pasta or polenta to turn it into a meal.
  3. Trofie is a Ligurian pasta traditionally served with pesto sauce. Try making your own pasta when you make Brian Boitano’s simple Trofie with Basil Cream Sauce.
  4. Celebrate the end of summer with an adult take on lemonade: Meyer Lemon and Basil Fizz.
  5. Make pizza on the grill on the grill so you don’t have to heat up the whole house. Try Giada’s Pizza with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil or veggie-loaded Mushroom, Onion and Basil Pizza.
  6. Tired of gazpacho? Switch up your summer soup choice with Michael Chiarello’s Summer Yogurt Soup with Tomato and Basil.
  7. Grilled Swordfish with Lemon, Mint and Basil is a light, yet hearty meal and comes together in just 15 minutes. Swordfish is perfect for grilling because it is a thick, meaty fish and won’t fall apart on the grill.
  • Giada’s Mango Cheesecake with Basil Lemon Syrup is an Italian take on the classic dish, utilizing both cream cheese and ricotta for the rich cake and biscotti crumbs as the crust.
  • As simple as it gets, Garlic Basil Shrimp is a low calorie weeknight dinner. Round out the meal with some orzo or brown rice.
  • Lemon and Basil Eggs Over Focaccia is a great no-fuss dish for brunch. Hollow out a piece of focaccia and bake the eggs right into the center of the bread.
  • A simple homemade salad dressing is often tastier and healthier than the store-bought variety. Instead of oil, Low-Fat Tomato Basil Dressing gets its flavor from tomato-vegetable juice.
  • Green tomatoes (normal tomatoes that have not ripened) are the best part of the end of summer. Kelsey Nixon steps up the traditional fried green tomato and turns it into lunch: Fried Green Tomato BLT with Sweet Basil Mayo.More 25 Ways:
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