Basil gives zest to tomato dishes, salads, zucchini, eggplant, meat seasonings, stuffing, soups, sauces and more.
Pesto — a creamy, green sauce — is one of basil’s most popular uses. It’s typically made from crushed basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, olive oil and pine nuts, though dairy-free options are also available. Try it as a dip or sandwich spread.
Basil complements other herbs and spices such as garlic, marjoram, mustard, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, rosemary and sage.
If you have fresh basil, take only the leaves — not the stem. It’s generally best to add fresh basil at the final step of cooking because heat can diminish the flavor and bright green colour.
If a recipe calls for fresh basil but you only have dried, use just 1/3 of the measurement, as dried is more concentrated.
If you’re cooking without a recipe, use the following amounts per 450 grams of food as a general guide:
|Dried basil||Fresh basil|
|Vegetables, grains or legumes||1.5 teaspoons||2 tablespoons|
|Meat, poultry or fish||2 teaspoons||2.5 tablespoons|
|Baked goods||1.5 teaspoons||2 tablespoons|