Valley Bounty: Basil

Basil is a quintessential summer ingredient, providing big flavor in easy ways: topping slabs of tomato and fresh mozzarella, or chopped and mixed with butter and spread on corn-on-the-cob. It comes in a surprising array of varieties and flavors—Thai basil makes a great, spicy chicken marinade, and lime basil begs to be muddled and made into cocktails.  Basil’s good with summer fruits, too. Try a sandwich of goat cheese, basil, and sliced peaches, sprinkled with balsamic vinegar.


Here’s our list of basil producers, and here’s our list of farmers’ markets.


Grilled Thai Basil Chicken

Preserving Tips:

Pesto is the best preservation method for basil. I freeze it without nuts or cheese, and add those when I eat it. If you want fresh basil flavor without garlic, just blend up basil and oil and freeze it in small blobs on a cookie sheet or in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, put the blobs in a bag and use all winter in soups, pasta, and on pizza.