‘Tis The Season To Buy Basil: Thai Spiced Hummus

April 21, 2011

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 browniesbasil-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?

 

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt @ FaveDiets April 22, 2011 at 9:51 AM

I’m so happy that fresh basil can be easily found again. I’m growing some basil in my windowsill now in fact!

Have any interest in sharing this in my blog hop? – http://www.favedietsblog.com/the-healthy-hop-april-edition/

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Christin@purplebirdblog April 22, 2011 at 3:41 AM

I madly love basil. I can eat it by the leaf, plain, all day. 🙂

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Paije April 22, 2011 at 12:24 AM

The humm is my faaaaaave!! And I love basil so I def need to make this!!
My fave herb is for sure dill. I can’t wait until it takes over my garden again this summer 🙂

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Pure2raw twins April 21, 2011 at 4:12 PM

Love love love basil too!! Basil in everything, right??

thanks for the email update, love ya girl!

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Emily April 21, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Basil is my favorite fresh green herb. I make a very similar raw hummus recipe too, without the curry flavors, with sun-dried tomatoes! My favorite summer basil recipe is fresh picked tomatoes, plenty of sea salt, lots of garlic, a bunch of basil and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Let it sit for a while so the sea salt draws the juice out of the tomatoes, and mixes with the olive oil to make a natural dressing. It’s best served on top of a fat piece of bread. And now I’m hungry 🙂

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Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons April 21, 2011 at 12:31 PM

boookmarked!!! thanks for the awesome tip! I have a plant and didnt know how to pluck the leaves. with the other plants i start from the bottom — so i’m glad i’ve been picking the big top leaves off my basil! hooray! success!

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Katie April 21, 2011 at 11:36 AM

So I have some thai basil that I dried last summer. I am making this as soon as my current hummus container empties. YUM.

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Ela April 21, 2011 at 10:32 AM

I love herbs fresh and dried, sometimes both in the same recipe. Love all your basil creations, and this one sounds great.

I made a (version of) a recipe of yours yesterday to raves from my husband–will blog about it hopefully later today.
love
Ela

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kate@ahealthypassion April 21, 2011 at 10:25 AM

everything looks so delicious and green lovee it!

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Michelle {the lively kitchen} April 21, 2011 at 9:28 AM

I need to get some zucchinis so I can make this! Wait, is zucchini one of those words that you don’t add an ‘s’ to to pluralize?

Seriously – this recipe is right up my ally! Thanks.

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Amber Shea @Almost Vegan April 21, 2011 at 7:40 AM

That hummus is like the love child between raw zucchini hummus and pesto 😛

BERBERE! I get so excited when I see someone use berbere. LOVE that stuff.

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Alyssa - fashion fitness foodie April 21, 2011 at 7:35 AM

I have never even thought if adding it to a smoothies? Maybe a peach or nectarine one!

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Alisa Fleming April 21, 2011 at 6:33 AM

I’m boring, pesto is still my favorite basil dish, but my husband isn’t a big basil fan, so we don’t use it too often. Still don’t like cilantro. I love spices really, but am not a super big herb fan … thyme and oregano would probably be my favorites, and I love mint tea, but only like mint in select recipes – and chocolate of course!

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Kristina @ spabettie April 21, 2011 at 6:14 AM

oh MY… *how* is it that I have just recently found you?? 😀 I love Basil (did you know my dachshund is named Basil?), always have plants in my kitchen… until I can have them in my yard!! (I cannot wait… hopefully planting that garden soon!).

I just want to come over to your house and cook with you. I want the basil banana pancakes. I want the moon pie and this curry. I’ll help you chop wood 🙂

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Lori April 21, 2011 at 7:17 AM

Deal! You help me chop wood then we’ll gorge on basil everything!!! 😉

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Erika April 21, 2011 at 4:59 AM

i LOVE the smell of fresh basil. it reminds me of the big garden we had when i was a kid, cuz we used to grow a lot of basil 🙂 i can’t wait to try that hummus recipe!

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Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit April 21, 2011 at 4:47 AM

… basil in smoothies? Gross. I can’t get with you on that one haha. My favorite herb is… DILL. Ya, dill, final answer. I go in and out of phases with my herbs.

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Lori April 21, 2011 at 7:23 AM

I go through phases too… but honestly, basil in smoothies is WAY better than it sounds. Add in a banana and almond milk and you’re golden… er, or green.

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christina April 21, 2011 at 4:40 AM

this is really neat! fresh basil is soooooo wonderful. on anything!

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Kat April 21, 2011 at 4:08 AM

You know, this is kind of perfect because as soon as we move I am planting some basil AND zucchini. Heck yes for fresh herbs and veggies 🙂

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Sable@SquatLikeALady April 21, 2011 at 3:52 AM

I love all herbs! And fresh whenever possible 😀 My faves are cilantro, garlic, rosemary, thyme and oregano! Lately I’ve been loving fresh basil, garlic, and thyme on poached or over easy eggs sprinkled with nutritional yeast.

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Lori April 21, 2011 at 7:24 AM

O.M.G. that poached egg creation sounds AMAZING. I must try this.

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Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen April 21, 2011 at 3:03 AM

I don’t know what else to say except that I’m not sure I’ve ever been so excited about basil before… 🙂

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Kristine Rasmussen April 21, 2011 at 2:54 AM

Ooooh this looks awesome!!!

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