15 Fresh Recipes Featuring Basil—That Don't Include Tomatoes!
Basil is the quintessential summer herb whose strong aromas and complex flavors are concentrated in its tender and deliciously delicate leaves. There is the famous and tall Genovese basil, whose generously-sized green leaves are most often used in pesto; the dark, contrasting opulence of sweet purple basil, which looks wonderful scattered across ripe slices of yellow peach; the anise-perfumed Thai basils that add an undertow of quick and seasonal authenticity to a summer stir fry; and the diminutive but intense Greek basils whose petite leaves provide sparkle and vivacity in an otherwise ordinary fruit salad.
Despite basil's range of flavor and form, the herb is often relegated to a predictable pairing with tomatoes. While we love tomatoes and this classic combination (in its multitude of interpretations), we love basil in more unexpected dishes, too. It deserves more.
Basil coaxes surprising nuances from diverse foods, enhancing diary, grains, fruit, vegetables, and meat. The herb also knows how to make a summer libation sing with flavor. Last but not least, basil adds layers of complexity to dishes and this versatile herb is switches effortlessly between sweet and savory.
Not convinced, yet? Pressed for time? Crush some basil and summer fruit and top with sparkling cold lemon soda; stir basil into a bowlful of comforting spicy rice; transform asparagus into a main event with an intensely lemony egg yolk and basil dressing; and make the most of fleeting summer produce by combining sweet corn and basil in a rich ice cream. Or simply perfume a carafe of table water with a few sprigs of basil an hour before dinner.
Read on to find 15 delicious recipes for basil with no tomatoes!
Blackberry Plum Smash with Basil
Garden Salad with Herbs and Sour Cherry Dressing
Corn and Avocado Salad with Goddess Dressing
Peach Chiffon Pie with Candied Basil Leaves
Turkey-Pesto Meatball Soup
Spicy Green Rice and Shrimp
Cupfuls of raw basil and cilantro are whizzed-up with garlic, chile, and fish sauce to create a pungently flavorful counterpart to soothing rice and quick-cooked shrimp. Never mind supplements! Your immune system will thank you for this bowlful.
Spicy Basil and Chicken Stir Fry
Seared Strip Steaks with Braised Pepper and Onion
Summer's best produce, led by red peppers, creates a gorgeous, basil-brightened red sauce to accompany seared steak. Confession: Yes, we added tomatoes.
Grilled Peaches with Prosciutto and Basil
When you need something fast, seasonal, and memorably good, grill summer peaches and accompany them with thinly sliced prosciutto and fresh basil leaves.
Quinoa Tabbouleh with Basil
Asparagus with Almonds, Goat's Cheese and Basil
Shrimp and Basil Glass Noodle Stir Fry
When you have a bunch of basil, add it at the end to this a classic noodle stir fry. Their last-minute addition preserve their essential oils and perfumes the whole dish.