From Memorial Day to Labor Day, basil is constantly on hand in our kitchens. We blend it into garlicky pestos, sprinkle it over grilled pizzas, and toss whole leaves into our fresh salads. It's hard to find a summer dish that isn't improved by a handful of this bright green, fragrant herb. If you're in need of a few new ideas to trim back an enormous pot or use up that second bunch you couldn't resist buying, then take a look through these ten favorite recipes for inspiration.
If you have a monster haul of basil, the top way to use it all up is definitely pesto. This blend of basil, garlic, nuts, cheese, and olive oil is one of the most versatile condiments around. Tossing pesto with warm pasta is always a win, but we also love spreading it on flatbreads, like in our Pesto Chicken Tart, as well as tossing it with potato salads and drizzling it over grilled fish. A little pesto mixed with mayo also gives sandwiches like our California BLT a serious kick of flavor! If you have some left over at the end of the week, pesto will freeze beautifully for months when sweet basil is less abundant.
But if you do one thing this summer with your basil stash, try infusing it into your next cocktail. You truly can't go wrong with a batch of Strawberry-Basil Margaritas; they're a guaranteed party win. We also just love the sweet and savory two-punch combo of pairing whole leaves of basil with summer fruit — our Cantaloupe Salad and our Tartines with Mozzarella, Basil, and Nectarine are both favorite dishes this time of year.
Is basil the top herb in your kitchen right now? What are your favorite ways to use it all up?
California BLT with Avocado and Basil Mayonnaise
(Images: See linked recipes for full image credits)