|A bed of basil varieties in bloom.|
|Basil, garlic, Parmesan, olive oil, nuts - regular pesto.|
Here are 5 great exciting ways of using basil you may not have tried yet.
|Dip a big pile of assorted basil cuttings in water and lay on the grill.|
1 - Lemon-Basil Grilled Shrimp.Cut a big, double-handful of lemon or lime basil, as in the photo above. Dip it in plain water and lay the basil on a medium-hot barbecue grill. Spread 2 or 3 dozen raw shrimp over the basil, pull down the barbecue lid if you wish, and steam the shrimp for 60 - 90 seconds. Flip the shrimp over and give them another minute. The lemon basil flavor will be steamed into shrimp, giving it wonderful flavor.
|Basil Lemon Ice Cream|
2 - Nutty Basil Lemon Ice CreamKaren Keb, editor of The Heirloom Gardener magazine told me about making homemade ice cream with basil this past week. She used sweet basil, pine nuts and lemon, and sounds so good I have to make some, too! Here's the link to her recipe, which she posted on the Mother Earth News website. Thanks, Karen, for sharing your recipe!
3 - Basil Pesto BurgersCombine about 2 pounds of ground chuck with 1 medium onion, finely chopped, 1/4 cup basil pesto, salt and pepper and mix well. Form into burgers and cook on the grill. The pesto gives great flavor, you won't be sorry you did this! (This method works well with veggie-burgers, too).
4 - Banana-Basil SmoothieUse any kind of basil for this - I like Thai, but lemon, sweet, Genovese, Greek Columnar, Purple Ruffles, it doesn't matter, they all work just fine. In a blender, put 1 frozen banana, 1 tablespoon honey, 7 or 8 basil leaves (or more, to taste) with 3 cups of milk. I add a few ice cubes, too. Blend it until smooth. For a milk-free smoothie, I use either pineapple or cran-raspberry juice instead of the milk.
5 - Blackberry Basil SorbetI especially like Greek Columnar basil or Purple Ruffles for this recipe but any variety works just as well. (The recipe is from my book, Fabulous Herb and Flower Sorbets, on my website).
Begin with 3 cups of blackberry juice (or blueberry, etc.) Add 1/2 cup sugar, 6-8 fresh basil leaves, 1 cup of water and the freshly-squeezed juice of 1 lemon. Blend well in blender and chill the liquid for at least an hour. Pour into a sorbet maker and freeze until firm.
|36 pages of herb and flower sorbet recipes.|
There you have it, 5 ways of using up some of your excess summer basil you may not have considered.
Of course, there's always the old stand-by, plain basil pesto toasted on sourdough bread, too!
|Fresh or frozen pesto toasted on sourdough bread, that's not too bad, either!|