Bounties of Basil

Fresh growing organic basil

Fresh growing organic basil

Bright, fragrant and practically singing with quintessential summertime flavor, fresh basil can transform your dish from common and plain to exciting and extra special.  This in-season herb is most traditionally featured in Italian pasta sauces, sprinkled atop pizza and served with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. However, the possibilities for using these smooth green leaves are simply endless. Pick up a bunch today and try our creative and unique recipes highlighting basil’s classic flavor. adds a kick to basic burgers with its recipe for Basil Parmesan Hamburgers, made with sweet basil, salty Parmesan cheese and fresh garlic. Grill to a juicy medium temperature, and top with roasted tomatoes or caramelized onions for a decadent barbecue favorite.

Made like traditional risotto but ready to eat in less than 30 minutes, Kelsey Nixon’s Lemon-Basil Orzotto from Cooking Channel boasts light, refreshing flavors of fruity citrus and herbs. Serve as a hearty lunch or side to grilled chicken or fish for an easy, summertime supper.

The ultimate healthy dessert, Strawberries With Basil Granita from Food Network Magazine uses hulled-out, ruby-red strawberries as bite-sized cups to hold frozen basil granita. Make this a family-friendly treat by substituting sparkling apple or grape juice for the wine.

Not just used in substantial foods, basil shines in cool drinks as well. Food 2’s thirst-quenching Muddled Pink Peppercorn and Basil Limeade features muddled spicy peppercorns and basil leaves topped with fresh lime juice. Transform this classic into an adults-only summer sipper with a splash of vodka.

Next Up

How to Preserve Basil

Four ways to keep sweet, fragrant basil around for months. Plus some of our best basil recipes for putting it to work.

Everything to Know About Basil

And what to cook with summer’s favorite herb.

Don't Break Up with Basil, But Blend Up These Non-Basil Pestos, Too

Pesto isn't just exclusive to basil anymore (or pricey pine nuts either); the summer staple can be made with really any green, and you can get even more creative by using sun-dried tomatoes and more unconventional picks.

Basil 5 Ways

The basil plants in my garden are getting ready to explode – in a few short weeks I’ll have bunches and bunches on my hands. Here are 5 different ways to use this fresh and flavorful herb.

Basil Pesto — Meatless Monday

A fresh, no-cook sauce that takes just moments to prepare, Food Network Magazine's Basil Pesto is a must-have summer sauce.

5 Ingredients: Tomato-Basil Pizza

Friday night is pizza night in our house. Instead of ordering greasy take out, I whip up my own healthier version with five simple ingredients.

How to Make Basil Salt

If you need to use up all of that basil from the garden, make basil-flavored salt. Serve it with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella at a cookout, or package it to give to the neighbors.

The Sweet Scent of Basil

I absolutely love baking with basil. It adds a wonderful layer of flavor that’s not so common in desserts. Keep in mind there are many varieties of basil, each yielding completely different flavor profiles.

Herb of the Month: Basil

Basil is high in vitamins A, K and C and adds a lot of fresh flavor to food without the calories.