I love fresh basil.
The smell. The taste. The GREEN.
I like buying the full plants and keep them in the kitchen to use readily and abundantly. This way I never run out of the stuff.
I’ve been known to use basil in smoothies (seriously, just try it!).
I love my tomato basil bites.
WRL recipes hosts basil pancakes, basil vanilla fig moon pies, sweet mint dessert pesto for making mint-pesto laced brownies, basil-sage pesto, pesto’d hummus, and pestacado. Wow, I had no idea I enjoyed basil so much.
While shopping for my new basil plant at Trader Joe’s, a woman with an obvious green thumb gave me some secrets for picking and maintaining a healthy, vibrant plant.
- Look for a full plant, healthy bright green leaves, and minimal brown spots.
- Smell the plant. It should smells fresh and “basily”.
- Water when dry. Over watering can hurt the plant.
- When using the leaves, work from the top down.
- Pinch off the stems at the newer buds (where new or existing leaves are)
These are good tips, and should help your basil plant live a long and healthy life. Granted you don’t use all the leaves in one day.
Thai Spiced Hummus
[raw, vegan, easy, delicious]
- 1 cup(ish) fresh basil leaves (or around there, exact measurements don’t really matter)
- 2 zucchinis, yielding about 2 cups, washed and roughly diced
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (more or less depending on how sweet/sour your lemons are- I used sweeter Meyer lemons)
- 2 heaping tbsps tahini
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
Blend everything together in your blender or food processor, stopping to stir, as needed. Taste and adjust then eat.
This hummus goes well on everything, chicken, kabocha, salad, a spoon.
I opted for the turkey salad route. I sauteed some sweet white onion with turkey breast seasoned with a Lemon Curry Berbere blend.
Lemon Curry Berbere Blend
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp Berbere (or 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cayenne powder)
- 1/4 tsp each sea salt and garlic powder
- splash of Tamari or soy sauce
Mix all together and marinade your meat/veggies/tofu/tempeh for as long as you can wait. Heat all in a greased pan on high until done.
Throw into a mixture of greens and slather with Thai Spiced Hummus.
What is your herb of choice? I love cilantro. And chives. And rashad. And garlic. Ok, I love them all but those are my favorites.
Fresh or dried herbs? I’ve been loving the Arabic-inspired salads with dried mint. Just a bit creates a whole new dimension to the salad.
Basil- what’s your favorite use/recipe?