5 Basil Recipes to Celebrate Your Fresh Basil Harvest

Let’s face it: basil recipes are better when your herb is freshly harvested. Here are our favorite basil recipes and why they taste especially delish when you grow your ingredients yourself.

Basil Harvest

We believe fresh harvests are the best — for many reasons. Eating food you’ve grown yourself is healthier, more eco-friendly, and a whole lot more fun. And while growing what you eat certainly gives you bragging rights, we also believe that when you can say, “I grew that,” everything on the plate tastes just a little better and leaves everyone feeling just a little happier.

Basil is one of those greens that just tastes better fresh. It’s a great cocktail garnish, a delicious soup addition salad, the key to the perfect Italian pasta, or the elegant centerpiece bouquet for your dinner table. Basil is one of those herbs that is as good for your soul as it is your body. It’ll make you fall in love with the growing, eating, and sharing.

Here are five of our favorite fresh basil recipes so you can enjoy your new harvest as much as possible.

TOMATO, MOZZARELLA, AND BASIL
by Ina Garten

Caprese Salad with Basil
Caprese salad ingredients fresh with vegetables, herbs and spices on white background, Italian cuisine concept. Soft focus.

From one of our favorites, Ina Garten, this simple recipe tastes and smells like summer. Featured in Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa Family Style, the simplicity of this recipe is key to its divine ability to showcase the flavor of basil. And trust us, it tastes even better when you can harvest tomatoes and basil fresh from your patio garden.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Small tomatoes (4 medium)
  • 1 lb fresh mozzarella
  • 10 – 15 basil leaves
  • 3 Tbsp good olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

HOW-TO:

Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella and arrange with the basil leaves on a large platter. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper (for taste), and serve at room temperature.

BASIL VINAIGRETTE
by What’s Gaby Cooking

This Basil Vinaigrette is our go-to dressing for salads, fruits, and pasta. What’s Gaby Cooking brings fresh flavors to life in her easy to follow recipes — this one is a front runner for our favorite. Created by a California girl, this recipe brings the happy California sun to your table and disappoints no one at the party.

Basil Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Shallot, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves, stems removed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt

HOW-TO:

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Pro Tip: You can refrigerate the vinaigrette for up to 3-5 days!

ONE-POT PASTA PRIMAVERA WITH SUMMER VEGGIES & RICOTTA
by Camille Styles

Camille Styles approaches life from a fresh perspective. Her motto, “Live life like you mean it,” comes to life in every post, recipe, and share. She paints the perfect picture of a happy home, a strong sense of self, and a guide for living well and truly happy.

This pasta primavera recipe is one of the basil recipes we absolutely adore. Although a bit untraditional, it captures the spirit of an Italian summer and the flavor of our fresh Italian herb.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 box orecchiette
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 cups broccolini, cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • ½ cup full-fat ricotta
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Fresh basil, to garnish

HOW-TO:

  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Sauté sliced garlic until it turns golden.
  2. Add 4 cups hot water, the salt, and the orecchiette. Cook until almost al dente, stirring often and adding more water as it evaporates.
  3. Add asparagus, broccolini, and peas. Stir until veggies start to soften — about 3 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes, ricotta, zest and juice of lemon, and butter, and stir until the pasta is coated in the sauce and tomatoes begin to soften.
  5. Top with fresh Basil and serve!

GIN + BASIL TONIC
by Sakara

Gin and Basil Tonic

“We believe life is about balance. That it should be filled with joyous times, including the occasional spirited indulgence”.

Danielle Douboise and Whitney Tingle, in Eat, Clean, Play Dirty

Danielle Douboise and Whitney Tingle believe in letting loose with a good cocktail every now and then. We couldn’t agree more. This gin + tonic recipe, touched by fresh basil and blackberry flavor, is a divine way to relax into a summer evening.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Blackberries
  • Skinned cucumber cut into small pieces
  • Fresh basil
  • Club soda
  • Gin

HOW-TO:

Muddle blackberries, cucumbers, and basil in a glass. Add gin and club soda, to taste. Garnish each glass with a basil leaf and a few whole raspberries.

BASIL HUMMUS
by the Gardenuity Kitchen

Basil Hummus

With all of our fresh office garden harvests, tasty treats are always coming out of the Gardenuity test kitchen. This hummus basil recipe is quickly becoming a team favorite. We tried it as a twist on avocado toast, as the star of our veggie tray, and as a savory addition to our afternoon chips & salsa break.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¼ Pine nuts
  • 3 cups sweet basil leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup of water
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp chili powder

HOW-TO:

  1. Toast the pine nuts by heating them in a small skillet on medium heat. When they’re lightly browned, remove them from the pan to cool.
  2. In the bowl of the food processor, place the basil and garlic and pulse until finely chopped. Add the rinsed and drained garbanzo beans, most of the pine nuts (keep a few for garnish), olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and chili powder.
  3. Pulse until smooth. Add water to the point of desired consistency.