What goes with Basil
Category Ingredients that Pair with Basil
Fruits Tomato, Strawberry, Lemon
Vegetables Zucchini, Eggplant, Bell Peppers
Spices/Herbs Oregano, Thyme, Garlic
Proteins Chicken, Seafood (especially shrimp), Mozzarella
Breads & Grains Pasta (like spaghetti), Pizza, Bruschetta
Drinks Pesto-based drinks, Italian wines, Herbal teas

Basil is a wonderful herb that can enhance the flavor of a wide range of dishes, and finding the perfect pairings can take your culinary creations to the next level. Whether you’re cooking up a fresh Caprese salad or experimenting with pesto sauce, Basil brings a unique and fragrant taste to the table.

Key Takeaways

  • Basil is a versatile herb that can elevate the flavor of your dishes.
  • Popular types of Basil include sweet basil, Genovese basil, lemon basil, Thai basil, and purple basil.
  • For salads and garnishes, fresh basil works best. Dried basil is ideal for cooked sauces and soups.
  • Basil pairs well with a variety of fruits and vegetables, including apricots, asparagus, blueberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumber, grapefruit, lemon, mushroom, orange, radish, tomato, and zucchini.
  • When it comes to herbs, spices, and dairy, Basil complements chervil, chives, cumin, mint, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts.
  • For protein and dairy dishes, Basil pairs nicely with beef, chickpeas, fish, squid, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese.
  • Add Basil to your salads and side dishes by chopping or tearing the leaves, or blending them into sauces and dressings.

By experimenting with different pairings, you can unlock a world of flavors and create delicious dishes that are sure to impress. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or just starting out in the kitchen, Basil is a versatile ingredient that can take your cooking to new heights.

There are several popular types of Basil used in cooking, including sweet basil, Genovese basil, lemon basil, Thai basil, and purple basil, each offering its own unique flavor profile and culinary possibilities. Sweet basil is the most commonly used type of basil, known for its mild and slightly peppery taste. It is the key ingredient in classic Italian dishes like Caprese salad and tomato-based sauces. Genovese basil, with its strong aroma and slightly sweet flavor, is often used to make pesto sauce. Lemon basil adds a citrusy twist to dishes, making it a great addition to seafood and salads. Thai basil, commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine, has a spicy, licorice-like flavor that pairs well with stir-fries and curries. Finally, purple basil not only adds a pop of color to dishes but also has a slightly spicy and more intense flavor compared to sweet basil.

When using basil in recipes, it’s important to consider whether to use fresh or dried basil. Fresh basil is best for salads, garnishes, and dressings, as it has a brighter and more vibrant flavor. Dried basil, on the other hand, is suitable for cooked sauces and soups, as it has a more concentrated flavor. To preserve basil, you can dry it using methods like oven drying, air drying, microwave drying, or using a dehydrator. Dried basil can be stored in an airtight container for up to a year.

Basil pairs well with a wide range of fruits and vegetables, adding a fresh and aromatic touch to dishes. Some fruits and vegetables that go well with basil include apricot, asparagus, blueberry, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumber, grapefruit, lemon, mushroom, orange, radish, tomato, and zucchini. Basil also pairs well with various herbs, spices, and dairy products. For example, chervil, chives, cumin, mint, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts can be combined with basil to create delicious flavor combinations. When it comes to protein and dairy, basil complements dishes with beef, chickpea, fish, squid, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese.

Including basil in salads and side dishes can elevate the flavor and add a burst of freshness. You can chop or tear the basil leaves and sprinkle them over salads or use them as a garnish. Basil can also be blended into sauces and dressings for an extra layer of flavor. It’s important to note that fresh basil should be added at the end of the cooking process to retain its aromatic taste.

To conclude, basil is a versatile herb that enhances the flavor of various dishes. It pairs well with a range of ingredients, from fruits and vegetables to herbs, spices, and dairy products. By experimenting with different combinations, you can create delicious meals that showcase the unique taste of basil. So why not incorporate this fragrant herb into your next culinary creation?

Basil Ingredient Ideas

Here are some ingredient pairings with basil that you can try in your recipes:

So go ahead and explore the culinary possibilities of basil in your cooking. Whether you’re making a refreshing salad, a comforting pasta dish, or a savory sauce, basil can add that extra touch of flavor. Enjoy experimenting with different ingredients and let basil be your secret ingredient for delicious meals.

Image Recipe
recipes with Basil Tomato Soup with Homemade Pesto
recipes with Basil Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce
recipes with Basil Basil Quiche
recipes with Basil Vegetarian Pasta with Basil
recipes with Basil Baked Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Risotto
recipes with Basil Snake Beans and Grated Coconut Salad

Pairing Basil with Fruits and Vegetables

Basil’s bright and aromatic flavor adds a refreshing touch to a wide range of fruits and vegetables, making it a versatile ingredient that can elevate your dishes with ease. Whether you’re looking to enhance a sweet fruit salad or add a burst of flavor to your savory vegetable dishes, basil can be the perfect herb to incorporate into your recipes.

When it comes to pairing basil with fruits, the possibilities are endless. The herb’s natural sweetness complements fruits like apricots, blueberries, grapefruit, lemon, orange, and watermelon. The combination of basil’s herbal notes with the fresh, tangy flavors of these fruits creates a delightful balance that is both refreshing and vibrant.

Vegetables also benefit from the addition of basil. The herb pairs well with a variety of vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumber, mushroom, radish, tomato, and zucchini. Whether you’re adding a sprinkle of freshly torn basil leaves to a salad or incorporating it into a vegetable stir-fry, basil’s flavor brings a unique twist to these dishes.

Fruits Vegetables
Apricot Asparagus
Blueberry Broccoli
Grapefruit Brussels Sprouts
Lemon Cauliflower
Orange Cucumber
Watermelon Mushroom
Radish
Tomato
Zucchini

Additionally, basil pairs well with other herbs that go well with basil such as mint and cilantro. These herbal combinations can add layers of flavor to your dishes, creating a more complex and enjoyable taste experience. So don’t hesitate to experiment with different combinations and discover your own favorite basil culinary combinations!

Herbs that pair well with Basil:

  • Mint
  • Cilantro

Whether you’re creating a refreshing fruit salad or a flavorful vegetable stir-fry, incorporating basil into your recipes can take your dishes to new heights. The vibrant and aromatic flavor of basil, combined with the natural sweetness of fruits or the earthy notes of vegetables, will add a delightful twist to your culinary creations.

Basil with Fruits and Vegetables image

When it comes to herbs, spices, and dairy, Basil has an innate ability to complement and enhance their flavors, creating a symphony of taste that will delight your palate. The aromatic and vibrant nature of Basil pairs effortlessly with a wide range of ingredients, opening up a world of culinary possibilities.

Herbs such as chervil and chives add a delicate and fresh flavor to dishes, and when combined with Basil, they create a harmonious balance that elevates the overall taste. The warmth and earthiness of spices like cumin add depth to the herbaceous notes of Basil, resulting in a captivating blend of flavors.

Dairy products like mint-infused yogurt or creamy pistachio and basil pesto complement Basil’s natural sweetness and add a creamy richness to any dish. Whether you’re adding a sprinkle of crushed pine nuts or incorporating walnuts into a classic basil pesto, the combination of Basil with dairy creates a luxurious and indulgent experience for your taste buds.

To fully appreciate the beauty of Basil paired with herbs, spices, and dairy, try experimenting with recipes like a fresh tomato and basil quiche or a vibrant spinach and basil pesto pasta. These dishes will showcase the versatility and unique flavor profile that Basil brings to the table, making them a delightful addition to any meal.

Basil with Herbs, Spices, and Dairy

Basil Pairing Suggestions
Chervil
Chives
Cumin
Mint
Pine nuts
Pistachio
Walnuts

Basil’s versatile nature allows it to perfectly accompany a variety of proteins and dairy products, bringing out the best in each ingredient and adding a burst of freshness to your meals. Whether you’re cooking up a hearty beef dish or a light and creamy pasta, basil can elevate the flavors and create a delightful culinary experience.

When it comes to proteins, basil pairs exceptionally well with beef, fish, squid, and chickpeas. The herbal notes of basil complement the richness of these proteins, creating a harmonious balance on your plate. For a delightful twist, try incorporating basil into your seafood recipes or adding it as a finishing touch to your grilled steaks.

In the realm of dairy, basil is a perfect match for mozzarella and parmesan cheese. The creamy and tangy flavors of these cheeses are enhanced by the aromatic and slightly peppery taste of basil. Whether you’re making a caprese salad or a classic pasta dish, the combination of basil and cheese will surely delight your taste buds.

Here is a versatile recipe idea to inspire you: a delicious tomato and basil pasta sauce. Start by sautéing onions and garlic in olive oil. Then, add chopped tomatoes and let them simmer until they break down into a rich sauce. Stir in a generous handful of fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces, and let the flavors meld together. Finish off the sauce with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and serve it over your favorite pasta. This simple yet flavorful dish showcases the beauty of basil when paired with dairy and highlights its ability to enhance the overall taste of a meal.

Remember, basil works best when added towards the end of the cooking process to retain its vibrant green color and delicate flavor. Whether you’re experimenting with new recipes or sticking to tried and true classics, basil’s versatility is sure to elevate your dishes and leave you craving more.

dishes with Basil

Adding Basil to salads and side dishes not only adds a burst of flavor but also infuses them with a vibrant and aromatic touch, taking your meals from ordinary to extraordinary. This versatile herb pairs well with a variety of ingredients, enhancing the taste and visual appeal of your dishes. Whether you’re looking to create a refreshing summer salad or a hearty side dish, Basil can bring a unique twist to your culinary creations.

One way to incorporate Basil into salads is by chopping or tearing the leaves and tossing them with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta cheese. The combination of the fresh Basil’s sweetness and the tanginess of the feta creates a delightful flavor profile. You can also add a handful of toasted pine nuts or walnuts for added crunch and richness.

Another delicious option is to blend Basil into homemade dressings and sauces. For a zesty and herbaceous dressing, combine fresh Basil leaves, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a blender. Drizzle this vibrant dressing over a quinoa and vegetable salad or use it as a marinade for grilled chicken or fish. The Basil-infused dressing will elevate the flavors and bring a delightful aroma to your dish.

Basil Recipe Inspiration

When it comes to side dishes, Basil can transform simple ingredients into show-stopping accompaniments. One idea is to roast a medley of seasonal vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, and sweet potatoes, then toss them with fresh Basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. The Basil adds a pop of freshness to the roasted vegetables, making them even more appealing.

In summary, Basil is a versatile herb that can be used to enhance the flavors of salads and side dishes. From simple green salads to roasted vegetable medleys, Basil adds a touch of vibrancy and aroma to your meals. Get creative in the kitchen and experiment with different combinations to discover your favorite Basil-infused creations.

Preserving and Using Basil

To make the most of Basil’s fresh and vibrant flavors, it’s essential to know how to preserve it and utilize it in various dishes, ensuring that its aromatic presence can be enjoyed all year round. Whether you have a surplus of homegrown Basil from your garden or want to take advantage of its availability in stores, there are several methods to preserve and store this versatile herb.

Drying: Drying Basil is a popular way to preserve it for later use. There are different methods you can try, such as oven drying, air drying, microwave drying, or using a dehydrator. No matter the method, the key is to ensure that the Basil is completely dry before storing it in an airtight container to maintain its flavor.

Infusing: Another way to preserve Basil is by infusing it into olive oil. This creates a flavorful oil that can be used in various recipes, from salad dressings to pasta sauces. Simply add fresh Basil leaves to a bottle of extra virgin olive oil and let it infuse for a week or two. The resulting herb-infused oil can be stored in a cool, dark place and used whenever you want to add a hint of Basil to your dishes.

Freezing: Freezing Basil is a convenient way to preserve its vibrant flavors and bright green color. One method is to chop or blend the Basil leaves with a small amount of water or olive oil, then freeze them in ice cube trays. Once frozen, transfer the Basil cubes to a freezer bag or container. These frozen Basil cubes can be easily added to soups, stews, sauces, or any dish that calls for Basil.

Utilizing: When it comes to using Basil in recipes, the possibilities are endless. From adding a handful of torn or chopped Basil leaves to salads, pizzas, and pasta dishes to blending them into sauces and dressings, Basil adds a fresh and fragrant element to any dish. It pairs well with a variety of ingredients, including tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, garlic, lemon, and more. Try incorporating Basil into dishes like tomato soup with homemade pesto, basil quiche, or baked tomato, mozzarella, and basil risotto for a burst of flavor.

Basil Pairing Suggestions
Fruits Vegetables
Apricot Asparagus
Blueberry Broccoli
Grapefruit Brussels sprouts
Lemon Cauliflower
Mushroom Cucumber
Orange Radish
Tomato
Zucchini

Basil Ingredient Ideas

When utilizing Basil in your dishes, keep in mind that its delicate flavor is best appreciated when added at the end of the cooking process. This helps retain its freshness and vibrant taste. Additionally, if you’re looking for more ingredient pairings with Basil, consider incorporating broccoli, spinach, apricots, avocado, tuna, watermelon, blueberries, mint, cilantro, or even peanut butter into your recipes. Each combination offers a unique and delightful culinary experience.

With these preservation and utilization methods, as well as the endless pairing possibilities, you can fully enjoy the flavors and aromas that Basil brings to your dishes. Don’t let this versatile herb go to waste – experiment, explore, and savor the delightful world of Basil-infused culinary creations!

Delicious Recipes with Basil

Ready to bring the wonderful flavors of Basil into your kitchen? Here are some mouthwatering recipes that will inspire you to create culinary masterpieces infused with the aromatic essence of this versatile herb.

1. Tomato Soup with Homemade Pesto

Warm up with a comforting bowl of tomato soup enhanced by the fresh flavors of homemade basil pesto. The combination of ripe tomatoes, fragrant basil, and creamy pesto creates a delightful harmony that will tantalize your taste buds. Sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese on top and serve with crusty bread for a satisfying meal.

tomato soup with homemade pesto

Elevate your pasta dishes with a vibrant tomato and basil sauce. Sauté garlic and onions in olive oil, then add ripe tomatoes, basil leaves, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Simmer the sauce until it thickens, allowing the flavors to meld together. Toss with your favorite pasta and garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese for a simple yet delicious meal.

3. Basil Quiche

Indulge in a savory Basil quiche that combines the richness of eggs, cream, and cheese with the aromatic essence of fresh Basil. The flaky pastry crust paired with the creamy filling creates a perfect balance of flavors and textures. Serve a slice of this delightful quiche with a side salad for a satisfying lunch or dinner option.

4. Vegetarian Pasta with Basil

Satisfy your cravings with a quick and easy vegetarian pasta dish infused with the flavors of Basil. Cook your favorite pasta al dente, then toss it with sautéed vegetables like zucchini, broccoli, and spinach. Finish it off with a generous handful of chopped Basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for a delightful and nutritious meal.

5. Baked Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Risotto

Impress your guests with a luxurious baked risotto that features the delectable combination of ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and aromatic Basil. This dish is a perfect blend of flavors and textures, with the creamy risotto contrasting with the juicy tomatoes and melted cheese. Serve it as a main course or alongside grilled meats for a memorable dining experience.

6. Snake Beans and Grated Coconut Salad

Experience a burst of freshness with a refreshing salad that showcases the vibrant flavors of snake beans, grated coconut, and Basil. Toss cooked snake beans with freshly grated coconut, chopped Basil leaves, and a zesty dressing made from lime juice, fish sauce, and brown sugar. This salad is the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats or a light lunch on its own.

Recipe Ingredients Preparation
Tomato Soup with Homemade Pesto Ripe tomatoes, basil leaves, garlic, onions, olive oil, vegetable broth, pine nuts, parmesan cheese 1. Roast tomatoes with garlic and onions. Blend to make a smooth soup.
2. Make pesto by blending basil leaves, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil.
3. Serve tomato soup with a dollop of homemade pesto.
Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce Ripe tomatoes, basil leaves, garlic, onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese 1. Sauté garlic and onions in olive oil.
2. Add tomatoes, basil leaves, salt, and pepper.
3. Simmer until thickened. Toss with cooked pasta and serve with grated parmesan cheese.
Basil Quiche Pastry crust, eggs, cream, gruyere cheese, Basil leaves, salt, pepper 1. Preheat oven and blind bake pastry crust.
2. Whisk eggs, cream, cheese, Basil leaves, salt, and pepper.
3. Pour mixture into the crust and bake until set and golden.

Conclusion

Basil’s versatility and ability to complement a wide range of ingredients make it an indispensable herb in the kitchen, allowing you to elevate your culinary creations with its fresh and aromatic touch. Whether you’re whipping up a classic Caprese salad or preparing a fragrant pesto sauce, basil adds a burst of flavour that enhances a variety of dishes.

There are several popular types of basil to choose from, including sweet basil, Genovese basil, lemon basil, Thai basil, and purple basil. Each variety offers its own unique flavour profile, making it suitable for different types of recipes. Fresh basil is perfect for adding to salads, garnishing dishes, and creating vibrant dressings, while dried basil is a great choice for cooked sauces and comforting soups.

If you want to make the most of your basil harvest, there are various methods for preserving this aromatic herb. You can dry basil using techniques like oven drying, air drying, microwave drying, or using a dehydrator. Additionally, basil can be infused into olive oil or preserved by freezing it in oil or water, ensuring you have a supply of this herb all year round.

When it comes to pairing basil with other ingredients, the possibilities are endless. Basil’s fresh and herbaceous notes work well with a range of fruits and vegetables, such as apricots, asparagus, blueberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumber, grapefruit, lemon, mushroom, orange, radish, tomato, and zucchini. It also complements other herbs, spices, and dairy products, such as chervil, chives, cumin, mint, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts.

Basil’s affinity for protein and dairy opens up even more culinary options. It pairs beautifully with beef, chickpeas, fish, squid, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese, allowing you to create delicious and flavourful main courses. In salads and side dishes, basil can be chopped or torn and used as a garnish, or blended into sauces and dressings for an extra burst of freshness.

With such a wide range of recipe options, incorporating basil into your cooking is a fantastic way to explore new flavours and elevate your meals. From tomato soup with homemade pesto to tomato and basil pasta sauce, from basil quiche to vegetarian pasta with basil, the possibilities are endless. So, next time you’re in the kitchen, don’t forget to reach for the basil and let its vibrant taste and aroma inspire your culinary adventures.

By Mat Stuckey

Ex professional chef with a passion for cooking and unique flavours.

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