Basil is the common name for the herb Ocimum basilicum and one of the most widely-used herbs in the world, from pesto to pasta sauces, basil runs the kitchen. It is usually used at the last moment of cooking, as cooking it quickly destroys its flavour.
Being a common household herb we thought we would share three delicious recipes with you, a luxurious starter, main course and a dessert using fresh basil.
A great idea for a romantic meal!
Roasted Tomato & Basil Soup
- 1.5 kg fresh tomatoes
- 2 onions
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- Chicken or vegetable stock (for the vegetarian)
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Handful of fresh basil
Sauté the onion, finely chopped, in a hot pan with olive oil until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute or two.
Peel, deseed and chop your tomatoes roughly adding them to the pan alongside the tomato puree. Cook for a further 10 minutes over a medium heat.
Add enough stock to just cover the tops of the tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir in the basil, finely chopped, and then liquidise the soup with a blender. Add more stock to thin out if required.
Season with salt and pepper and serve!
(Reheat if required)
Baked chicken with Basil
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- 4 bone-in chicken breasts
- 4 large fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lemon, halved
Preheat your oven to 200°C. Rub your baking dish with the cut side of the garlic then leave the garlic halves in the dish. Tuck a basil leaf under the skin of each breast and place in the baking dish, season with salt and pepper and a drizzle olive oil.
Squeeze half a lemon over the chicken breasts. Cut the remaining lemon into 3 or 4 slices and place on top of the chicken. Place in the oven, turning once or twice and basting with the pan juices until browned and tender, approximately 35 minutes. Serve alongside a fresh salad and if you’re feeling a little naughty some homemade chips.
Basil & Lime Sorbet
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 20 fresh basil leaves (chopped)
Add the sugar and water to a pan and bring to boil, allow to boil for approx. 1 minute, making a simple syrup. Remove from heat.
Add the lime juice and basil to the syrup then place in a blender and puree. Pour the mixture into a container, cover and store in freezer until completely frozen, approximately 2 hours.
Break the frozen mixture into pieces and place in a blender, blend until smooth. Return to the container, cover and store in freezer until you’re ready to serve.
Simple a delicious meal to show your loved one how much you care!
You can easily grow your own fresh herbs to make even more delicious recipes such as oregano rosemary, wild arugula, thyme, winter savory, sage, chervil and mint.