29 Fragrant Basil Recipes We Love
Rare Roast Beef with Fresh Herbs and Basil Oil
Apricot-and-Basil Shortbread Tart
Roy Shvartzapel layers roasted fresh apricots atop basil custard to make a gorgeous tart. The tender crust is extraordinary: Combining hard-boiled egg yolk and potato starch, it’s based on a classic dough that he learned from Paris pastry genius Pierre Hermé.
Seared Snapper with Granny Smith, Strawberry, and Basil Salsa
Seared snapper and a crisp, fresh salsa may seem an unlikely match for a lush Oregon Pinot Noir, but James Briscione, author of The Flavor Matrix, says their affinity goes to a molecular level: The wine has notes of rose, of which apples are a relative. The lighter strawberry notes in the wine are equally matched with fresh strawberries in the salsa.
Basil-Crusted Leg of Lamb with Lemon Vinaigrette
With its basil-and-pine nut crust and bracing dressing of lemon juice and Dijon mustard, this lamb dish bridges Brazil and Provence.
Basil Limeade Slushies
A splash of soda water makes these tart slushies pleasingly bubbly. With a little rum, they’d also make great cocktails.
Yigit Pura’s updated version of this crisp-creamy French dessert combines little lime meringue kisses with basil ice cream and sweet mango sorbet.
Pizza with Charred Cherry Tomatoes and Pesto
These crisp-crusted individual pies are topped with sweet tomatoes, aged Gouda and pesto.
Inspired by a nearby abundance of basil, mixologist Todd Thrasher created six basil cocktails. This one is his most popular.
Grilled Eggplant and Tomatoes with Parmesan-Basil Crumbs
Fresh bread crumbs are an underrated way of adding fabulous crunch to recipes. Here Francis Mallmann uses bread crumbs tossed with fresh basil and lots of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to create a great topping for tender grilled vegetables.
Lemon & Basil Martini
Naren Young created this martini variation after tasting a lemon-and-basil sorbet at a restaurant. Sweet white vermouth emphasizes the basil’s herbal quality, while limoncello and lemon juice give the drink a double-citrus punch.
Pounding the ingredients in a mortar produces a pesto of incomparable texture— silky basil leaves and olive oil bind coarser bits of garlic and Parmesan.
Chicken Breasts with Anchovy-Basil Pan Sauce
This dish is best served with fried zucchini blossoms and Soave, a lightly herbal white wine from Italy’s Veneto region.
Caprese Burgers Recipe
In this play on the classic Italian salad, Grace Parisi kneads basil pesto into ground beef before grilling, then tops the burgers with mozzarella, sliced tomatoes and even more pesto.
Cucumber-Basil Ice Cubes
Lovely and cooling, these flavored, emerald-toned ice cubes are great in sparkling water, lemonade or a Bloody Mary.
Halibut with Corn Pops and Basil Broth
When choosing corn, Cornelius Gallagher suggests piercing the kernels with your fingernail. “If the liquid that comes out is cloudy, the corn is too starchy. You want a clear liquid.” Finding the secret ingredient for this recipe—Corn Pops breakfast cereal—is even easier.
Pancetta-Wrapped Mussels with Basil
Crispy, briny and juicy, these ingenious mussels are a simple and unexpected fall dish; they’re just as delicious roasted or grilled. Threading the shelled mussels onto skewers makes them easier to handle.
Pan-Glazed Salmon with Oyster Sauce and Basil
One of Marcia Kiesel’s favorite condiments, oyster sauce, gets its rich, briny flavor and glossy deep-brown hue from reduced oyster broth. Here she uses it as a sweet-spicy glaze for seared salmon.
Scallops with Warm Tomato-Basil Dressing
For pairing, these rich, herb-scented scallops need a crisp light beer. Try Left Hand's frothy Polestar Pilsner. Or pour an unoaked Chardonnay.
Spicy Thai Marinade with Basil and Cilantro
Chef Bill Kim likes to use this spicy, citrus-scented marinade on steak, but it's also great on chicken and shrimp.
Chicken-and-Rice Salad with Pesto Yogurt Dressing
Dinner doesn’t get much simpler than this: Boil some rice and toss it with pesto, yogurt, and rotisserie chicken from the supermarket. Leftover cooked chicken or turkey will work just fine, too.
Eggplant, Pesto, and Goat-Cheese Pizza
Tangy goat cheese, sharp Parmesan, tender sautéed eggplant, and bold pesto cover a mouth-watering pizza. This recipe makes a hearty fourteen-inch pizza; you be the judge whether it serves two or four.
Thai Chicken with Basil
An abundance of whole basil leaves joins chicken and fiery red chiles for a quick, delicious,and decidedly spicy stir-fry. Holy basil is the most authentic choice, but any variety will do.
Chef Anthony Myint likes to play with “unexplored synergies” in food. For this noodle salad, he combines the Italian trinity of tomato, basil and mozzarella with Asian rice noodles and a version of the classic Vietnamese noodle sauce nuoc mam, made with fresh tomato juice.
Broken Lasagna with Walnut Pesto
“Whole-grain pasta is one of the easiest ways to sneak whole grains into your diet,” Heidi Swanson says. Her lasagna, made with noodles broken into 1-inch pieces, features a healthy pesto made with walnuts and basil.
Steamed Clams with Tomatoes and Basil
This recipe starts by cooking down some cherry or grape tomatoes in garlic oil in a Dutch oven until they take on a jammy consistency, which intensifies their sweetness. The clams go into the pot with some white wine (use a good one, and drink the rest), where they are slowly coaxed open until their briny, sweet juices run free and mingle with the tomatoes. Finish the dish with a fistful of perfume-y basil, or whatever tender-leafed herb you have on hand.
Pasta with Sausage, Basil and Mustard
Basil Three-Cheese Ravioli with No-Cook Fresh Tomato Sauce
Press and seal fresh basil leaves in homemade pasta dough to make three-cheese ravioli that are as beautiful as they are delicious, paired in this recipe with a no-fuss, no-cook fresh tomato sauce that doesn’t distract from the delicate pasta.
Strawberry Granita with Sweet Pesto
Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson pairs a subtly tangy berry granita with honey-sweetened pesto in this refreshing summer dessert. Choose the sweetest, juiciest berries for the most flavorful granita.