Basil is one of our most loved herbs at Plated. It’s so versatile, we end up using it in and on everything we cook, bake, and sip, all summer long (we like to keep things seasonal!). We wanted to help you do the same, so we’re featuring a few bright, flavorful basil-centric recipes for every meal of the day, from light and fresh breakfasts to sweet, indulgent desserts.
Once you’ve mastered how to chiffonade basil and are well versed on summer’s best basil varieties, you’re ready to start cooking (and baking) your way through your summer basil supply. You’re going to want to head to the farmers market for a fresh, fragrant bunch, stat.
Citrus-basil potato + eggs
Throw a fried egg on top of these crispy, roasted citrus basil potatoes and voila—you have a delicious, filling breakfast (because #putoneggonit makes everything breakfast-appropriate). The heartiness of potatoes paired with the light and zesty lemon flavor blend wonderfully with fresh basil and a touch of olive oil.
Peach, basil + ricotta toast
If you aren’t already fully committed to the toast trend, this seasonal option that combines summer fruit with basil and creamy ricotta will have you convinced. We love it for breakfast, but it also works great as a party hors-d’oeuvre, or even as a light summer lunch (hello, not-so-sad-desk office lunches!).
2 slices multigrain bread
1/2 cup ricotta
1 teaspoon honey + extra for drizzling
2 peaches, washed and sliced
4 leaves basil, cut into chiffonades
Toast slices of bread until crisp. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk honey into ricotta until fully incorporated. Slice peaches thinly.
Divide ricotta between toasts, add peach slices, and top with slivers of basil. Drizzle extra honey on top, if desired.
Put pesto on everything
You can’t have a roundup about basil without mentioning the herb’s ultimate, recognizable iteration: pesto. The Plated kitchen adores homemade pesto—it’s so easy to customize, and tastes great when paired with nearly anything: on top of pasta, stirred into scrambled eggs, spread on a sandwich, and even mixed into salad dressing.
Or, basil hummus
(Adapted from Simply Recipes)
Mixing fresh basil and toasted pine nuts into your favorite hummus recipe will give you all the best flavors of pesto in a dippable, snackable form. What could be better?
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
3 cloves garlic, smashed then minced
2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
1/4 cup olive oil
Up to 1/4 cup water
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon tomato paste
Hot sauce, to taste
Heat the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium-high heat, stirring them as they start to brown. When most of them have lightly browned, remove them from the pan into a bowl to cool. Reserve a few pine nuts for garnish.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the basil leaves and the garlic until finely chopped. Add the rinsed and drained garbanzo beans, pine nuts, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, tomato paste, and a few dashes of hot sauce.
Pulse several times, for several seconds each time, until the hummus is smooth. Add more hot sauce, salt, and lemon juice to taste. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
To serve, scoop into a bowl and drizzle a little olive oil over it. Sprinkle with reserved toasted pine nuts. Serve with pita wedges, crackers, bread, or sliced vegetables.
Garlic basil shrimp + grits
The incorporation of garlic, basil, and tomatoes in this shrimp and grits recipe gives the classic Southern dish a kind of Italian spin. Basil lovers will be pleased to know that this recipe features basil both within and on top of the dish, as a garnish, for optimal, herby flavor.
Pesto chicken sandwich
This savory, creamy pesto chicken sammy will make even the pickiest of eaters happy. If you’re not big on extra bread, you can eat this chicken salad situation straight out of the bowl.
Peach and berry empanada
If your idea of empanadas is limited to savory, dinnertime fare, this sweet summer peach and berry empanada recipe will have you thinking twice. The crisp, flaky dough and bursting, fruity filling of these hand pies make them irresistible, especially when topped with basil-infused whipped cream. It’s summertime in a bite.
Peach basil sorbet
We love infusing new flavors into our desserts, rather than sticking with plain simple syrup—it’s a great way to incorporate extra levels into treats like sorbet without becoming too overwhelming. Here, a basil-infused simple syrup balances the sweetness of peaches for a refreshing summer dessert.
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
8 fresh basil leaves
2 pounds fresh peaches (approximately 3 or 4), pitted and chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
Make basil simple syrup:
In a small saucepan, stir water and sugar together. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn off heat. Add basil leaves, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes. Strain the basil leaves out of the syrup and let cool before using.
In a blender, combine 1-1/4 cups simple syrup (reserving leftover simple syrup for another use), chopped peaches, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the peach mixture into a bowl. Chill for an hour, then process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer sorbet to an airtight container and freeze for at least 3 hours.
(Source: Merry Gourmet)
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