8 Things to do with Fresh Basil

Fresh basil can be expensive in grocery stores, but it’s easy to grow either directly in the ground in your garden, in a raised garden bed, or in a container. When I grow it myself at home, I often end up with more fresh basil than I can easily use, but I always try to make the most of the abundance. Here are eight options when you have tons of fresh basil:

  1. Make pesto. Here’s a good recipe, and you can store your pesto in the fridge or freeze it. It’s good for serving with pasta or on bread.
  2. Make caprese salad. Layer some basil leaves between sliced fresh tomatoes and sliced mozzarella cheese, drizzle it all with some extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Make caprese-style grilled cheese sandwiches. Tuck a few basil leaves and a tomato slice or two into your grilled cheese sandwich.
  4. Make my favorite homemade tomato soup. This is my absolute favorite recipe at this link. It’s better than any soup that comes out of a can, and my oldest daughter loves it. You will not regret trying it! It’s also a good way to use up fresh garden tomatoes.
  5. Make bruschetta. Here’s a recipe.
  6. Freeze it. Dice fresh basil leaves and place them into the sections in an ice cube tray, adding just a little water or oil. Here’s a tutorial. Place the tray in the freezer, and once the basil and water are frozen, dump the basil cubes into a freezer-safe bag or container. Pull out a cube anytime you need basil for a recipe. The cubes can easily be dropped into soups, stews, and sauces.
  7. Dry it. I’ve never tried to do this, but here are instructions.
  8. Share it. Offer your fresh basil to family, friends, and neighbors.

What do you do with fresh basil? Share your ideas and recipes in the comments.

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