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Add a Little Basil

Add a Little Basil


Bring your summer menus to life with the fresh color and flavor of this herb. Here’s how.

The pungent flavor and aroma of fresh basil make it a popular herb for flavoring all sorts of savory dishes, from salads and sides to sauces and soups. Grow it on your windowsill for easy picking, or buy it fresh at the store, looking for leaves that are evenly green and not wilted. Here are a few ways to make basil part of your menu this month.

Make it the star of your salad.

For an easy way to enjoy the classic Italian tomato-basil-mozzarella appetizer, try our Tomato-Basil Salad recipe. This dish calls for a half cup of whole basil leaves, but you still may have extras if you buy a whole plant at the grocery store. To store leftover short-stemmed herbs like fresh basil, put a few layers of barely damp paper towels (to help keep fresh) in a resealable plastic bag, then add the herbs. Seal and refrigerate, and use within four days.

Snip it into sandwiches.

A tablespoon of snipped basil turns ordinary grilled cheese into an extraordinary Bruschetta-Style Grilled Cheese Sandwich. You can also use this herb atop tuna salad or deli sandwiches. Use kitchen shears to snip the basil into little pieces or layer a few basil leaves on top of each other, roll them into a cylinder, and slice them into thin strips.

Look for basil-flavored foods.

Our Basil & Tomato Bruschetta with Feta is a great way to enjoy basil’s fresh flavor without actually buying it fresh. That’s because this dish gets its Mediterranean flavor from ATHENOS Crumbled Feta Cheese with Basil & Tomato. This recipe makes 36 servings to share with company, but you can make a single serving as a snack—just sprinkle some of the feta on a slice of French bread and enjoy.

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