Sometimes in cooking, there are certain magical ingredients that really transform a dish. They’re not always the main star of the show and they’re not always the part of the dish that you’ll really be chowing down on, but they’re often the thing that takes flavour, taste, and appeal to the next level. Our very favourite thing like this to add to dishes of all kinds is basil!
Check out these 15 delicious basil recipes that will show you just how awesome spices, garnishes, and delicious subtle flavours can really be.
1. Zucchini latkes with parmesan, pine nuts, and basil recipes
If you’ve ever had potato latkes then you already know how delicious they are, but perhaps you’re trying to lessen the starchy foods and carbohydrates that you’re eating? Then try a vegetarian version instead! This alternative recipe from Serious Eats is especially awesome because, besides being made with zucchinis, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts, it’s flavoured primarily with basil.
2. California BLT with avocado and basil mayonnaise
Basil is one of those magical ingredients that doesn’t need to be the star food on the plate to taste great. In fact, it doesn’t even need to be a secondary ingredient to really make your day either! The Ktchn shows you how to make a delicious BLT featuring avocados and a healthy helping of mayonnaise flavoured with basil leaves.
3. Basil baked tomatoes
Do you love the thought of basil and tomatoes together but you’d rather make a warm entree or side dish rather than a cold salad? There are still plenty of options out there for you! Taste of Home suggests sprinkling bread crumbs across the flat top of a half sliced tomato, topping it with some shredded basil leaves, and baking it to perfection!
4. Fingerling potato salad with aioli, pesto, fried shallots, and pecorino
If you’ve ever had a recipe that involved good, high quality pesto made the authentic way, then you’re probably already familiar with just how delicious basil can be, as well as just how easily it can steal the show! Serious Eats gives you a recipe that also includes potatoes, shallots, pecorino, and aioli, but the basil flavour still comes out wonderfully.
5. Asparagus rolls with prosciutto and basil ricotta cheese
Sometimes the simplest appetizers are some of the very best tasting! It doesn’t take much effort to roast asparagus, mix basil into ricotta cheese, or to roll the lot into pieces of delicious prosciutto, but it does take an effort not to eat more than one in a sitting! Huffington Post guides you through the process of making them.
6. Lemon, basil, and shrimp pasta
Have you ever had a pasta so delicious that you can barely stand it even though it’s only made of very few ingredients? That’s always thanks to extra flavourful ingredients like- you guessed it- basil! This pasta recipe involves juicy shrimp, whole basil leaves, and a light, zesty lemon sauce that complements the strong basil taste perfectly. Check it out on My Recipes!
7. Strawberry-basil margaritas
Have you ever tried basil in a recipe that’s not savoury or a food entree? There are plenty of other dish options that will let you enjoy the awesome flavour and fragrance of basil as well, and not all of them are foods! Instead, try this mouthwatering basil strawberry margarita that perfectly blends fruit flavours, sweetness, and a little bit of savory bite for a unique twist!
8. Prosciutto pesto pizza twists
Did you love the idea we showed you above of combining prosciutto ham with basil in bite sized ways, but you’re not a huge fan of asparagus? Then maybe you’d like something that’s a little more akin to pizza instead of a gourmet amuse bouche! A Zesty Bite shows you how to make these delicious twists without skimping on the delicious basil pesto at all.
9. Watermelon, lyschee, feta, and basil salad with spicy lemongrass vinaigrette
Are you such a huge fan of unique salads and side dishes that you’ll try just about any combination of foods together as long as they’re in a great dressing? We’re pretty much the same way, but we have one additional caveat; there simply must be shredded basil thrown on top as well! Check out how Serious Eats used basil to amp up the flavour of lychee, watermelon, and feta cheese.
10. Stuffed asiago-basil mushrooms
We simply adore mushrooms. We like them prepared all different ways, but we see some of the most flavour potential in mushroom caps because you can stuff them with so many delicious things! Cheese is nearly always our first go to, but now that we’ve tried Taste of Home‘s idea for basil asiago, we’ll never go back!
11. Fried mozzarella, basil, and nectarine stacks with balsamic glaze
Are you browsing this list hoping for something a little more unique and gourmet that your guests are less likely to have tried yet? Then try these delicious fruit stacks that are combined with savoury sauces and spices for a stunningly contrasted taste! Half Baked Harvest layered sliced of nectarine and fried mozzarella cheese and then drizzled them with balsamic and sprinkled them with shredded basil to really top the taste off.
12. Grilled tuna with basil butter and fresh tomato sauce
Are you looking for a meal detail that will let you add basil to just about anything at all, even if it’s not cooked right into the recipe? Then basil butter is here to answer your prayers! Of course, the rest of this recipe is simply delectable, so we just had to include the entire thing on the list. My Recipes suggests smothering the basil butter on succulent grilled tuna!
13. Pesto chicken tart
Few things go together as wonderfully as pesto and chicken. Besides their unparalleled taste together, however, we also adore how many different combinations of the two you can enjoy! One of our favourite ways to eat pesto and chicken is in a cheese smothered tart, just like this one made by The Ktchn.
14. Juicy turkey burgers with sauteed tomatoes, basil, and ricotta
Just because you’re eating healthy for the new year doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a hearty, juicy burger every once in a while. If you want to keep things a little more calorie wise, however, try making yourself a lean turkey burger instead of a traditional beef patty! As if that’s not a delicious enough idea in itself, Serious Eats suggests adding sauteed tomatoes, ricotta cheese, and a healthy portion of basil for extra flavour.