The Best Ways to Use Basil

Don't Beat Around The B: How To Use Basil

Too often at-home chefs neglect the power of fresh herbs, both in terms of their power to elevate your foods’ flavors and their health benefits. Not to mention their lack of calories and fat. Basil is one herb that can move outside of your Italian nights and into your everyday cooking!

Sweet is the most common type of basil in cooking. This is what’s used in caprese salad or Italian chicken recipes. In India, another type of basil called tulsi is used for medicinal and religious purposes. Thai basil is frequently used in southeast Asian cooking to balance the spiciness and add freshness to their dishes. 

Here in the U.S., we use basil as a replacement for mint in desserts or add it to salads, meat dishes, pasta, or even cocktails. 

Basil can be prepared in a variety of ways, including:

Dry: If you have fresh basil you would like to dry, you can simply cut the leaves and place them in a paper bag tied with string in a cool, dry place in the house.

Fresh: This will yield the strongest flavor in your dishes. To keep basil fresh, treat it as you would treat cut flowers– in a vase with water that you change daily.

Frozen: If you can’t use up your fresh basil quickly enough, grab an empty ice cube container and place your chopped up fresh basil inside with olive or canola oil and freeze it. When you’re ready to use it, just pop it in the frying pan.

Here are some delicious recipes that use basil: 

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