Eater’s Digest: Fresh Basil, Three Ways

Try these innovative recipes from your favorite celebrity chefs to use this summer herb.

By Lauren Gniazdowski from Reader's Digest Magazine | July/August 2012
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    By late summer, there's probably more basil growing in your garden (or going cheap at the farmers' market) than you could ever stuff into a caprese salad.

    Enjoy the bounty: Basil is chock-full of vitamin K, iron, and calcium. Here are three fresh ways to use more of the versatile herb.

    No-Recipe Walnut Ricotta Pesto

    Rachael Ray, author and TV show host, plays with the classic by blanching basil, then pureeing it with garlic, olive oil, salt, and ricotta and parmesan cheeses.

    Easy Recipe Basil-Strawberry Iced Tea

    Martha Stewart, TV host and cookbook author, combines ¾ cup of sugar and 1 cup of water and brings it to a boil. Add 1 cup fresh basil and steep for 10 minutes. Strain out basil and pour syrup over 1 pound sliced strawberries and let sit for 25 minutes; stir into 4 cups iced tea and chill.

    No-Recipe Basil Oil

    Michael Chiarello, chef/owner of Bottega restaurant in Napa Valley, blends basil and olive oil until smooth, then simmers on high heat for 3 minutes. Strain the mixture, then try drizzling it over grilled chicken, vegetables, or even that caprese salad.

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