Did you ever walk out to your garden and think, “Holy SHIT! What am I going to do with all of this basil?!” No? Well, that was me this last week. I was ambitious. I started seeds and have four, now huge, Genovese basil plants in my herb raised bed.
Now, that Mr. Muse and I have a housemate who loves to cook as much as I do, it makes it a little easier to search for and find, recipes in which we can use a whole lotta basil.
It All Starts With Pesto
Pesto is loved by me, and the housemate, but not by Mr. Muse. I still had Garlic Scape Pesto from last year, which is so garlicky that if you plan on making out with anyone after eating it – they need to eat it, too. Mostly, you’re going to have garlic coming out of your pores for the following three days after eating it. Also, it’s delicious.
Since the pesto is popular, first up was regular, “plain old pesto.” Sort of. The selected recipe was simple, delicious, and used up the pine nuts that had been languishing in the freezer since who knows when. But, WAIT! There’s more! We didn’t have the called-for Gruyere – but there was aged Manchego. Angels sang. Everyone is happy, ingredients get used up, and seriously, Manchego in pesto is *kisses fingers*.
Then there was pesto made with walnuts. Walnuts are also used in the garlic scape pesto, and they are delicious. This pesto was delicious. The parmesan was excellent quality. Again, everyone is happy.
Next up? Pesto with almonds. I have a lot of almonds. Conclusion? Delicious!
Drink Your…. Herbs?
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a fan of a good Gin & Tonic. So, when Housemate suggested the Lemon Basil Gin & Tonic? Yes, please!
They also made Basil Mojitos and claimed they were incredibly refreshing. Also, that I had to try one.
Lastly, for the beverages, was a Blueberry Smoothie… with basil. Out of spinach, they subbed in some basil and declared it a fantastic change.
How Can You Have Your Pudding If You Don’t Eat Your… Basil?
Basil in baked goods? Yes, indeedily-doodily! The first recipe tried was Lemon Basil Yogurt Cake. The first words spoken from me were, “Oh. This is terrible, like… you should just leave this for me so I can spare you from eating it.” It’s good. Really good.
Then, there was a variation of Basil Blackberry Crumble, made with black raspberries. So, this was another dish where let’s just say you make it and let’s just say you send it to me so I can spare you from eating it. Does that work? Okay, I give – you should eat it. It’s delicious.
Finally, I’d be CAPRESE if I didn’t make Caprese Salad. The first ripe tomatoes of the year were had for breakfast one morning, sliced and arranged with big, fresh basil leaves and smooth, creamy slices of fresh ovolini mozzarella and then drizzled with balsamic vinegar. If I’d have done anything differently, I would have reduced the balsamic to a syrup, but I didn’t have time. So there.
With the abundance of basil in the garden this year, but with all of the great recipes found online, I’m feeling a little less overwhelmed.
What’s your favorite way to use basil?