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What to eat with basil?

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Finished with black pepper and subtle anise flavor with hint of mint, light and soft leaved basil adds a note of freshness to a dish when used just before serving. It is identified as the herb of summer due to its sweet and floral aroma that is reminiscent of cloves and anise with a slightly spicier and sweeter touch. 

It is believed that preparing basil is better to use whole leaves rather than chopping them, which can alter the taste when not cut correctly. Depending on the dish, basil can be served with a variety of flavors.

What to eat with basil? Commonly, basil is eaten with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese as appetizer. Apart from tomatoes, basil pairs well with red or roasted bell peppers, eggplant, eggs and egg dishes such as omelets, grilled or poached fish, garlic, lamb, mint, salads, soups, and summer vegetables such as zucchini.

Other than mozzarella cheese, basil pairs wonderfully with feta, goat, parmesan, pecorino, and ricotta cheese. 

This herb is used in worldwide cuisine where it can be found in Italian cuisine pasta dishes and sauces, Mediterranean cuisine, as well as Thai cuisine, especially in green curries and soups.

Basil is mild flavored herb that goes well with other herbs, and does not overpower the fragrance. These herbs are cilantro, oregano, parsley, and thyme, but it is not recommended to use with tarragon. 

Whether you are looking for sweet, spicy, salty, or savory, this article will discuss the flavors that go well with basil. Answered below are frequently asked questions about what to eat with basil, including meats, herbs and fruits that go well with it. 

What goes well with basil?

Basil goes well with pizza as a fresh topping, incorporated in pasta, blended into sauces, pureed into soups, chopped and added into salads, and used to garnish avocado toast. It can also be paired with ice cream as a specialty topping. 

This simple yet important herb makes a flavorful garnishment on a plate, and pairs with different ingredients as a wholesome symbol of love. 

  • Vegetables: bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, chives, corn, cucumber, eggplant, fennel, garlic, ginger, onions, peas, potatoes, spinach, summer squash, summer vegetables, zucchini
  • Spices: cinnamon
  • Grains: green and white beans, rice
  • Bread: ciabatta, baguette, focaccia
  • Condiments: honey, olive oil, peppers, kosher and sea salt, soy sauce, vanilla, vinaigrettes, balsamic or sherry vinegar
  • Cuisines: Cambodian, French, Italian, Mediterranean, Vietnamese
  • Food: pizza, pasta, sauce, salads, salad dressings, soups
  • Nuts: pine nuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans, almonds
  • Chocolate: white
  • Dairy: cream, ice cream
  • Seafood: capers, crab, mussels, scallops, sea bass, shellfish, shrimp, tuna, salmon
  • Wine: no oak Chardonnay, Chianti, Sangloves, especially with heartier dishes, Sauvignon Blanc, red and white Zinfandel

What meat goes well with basil?

Basil goes well with beef because of its sweet, peppery and slightly minty taste. This is a perfect flavor combination to add to savory meats because it surprises the mouth with complex nuance flavors. 

Other than beef, here are other meats that you can add basil to garnish the dish:

What other herb goes well with basil?

Basil has a warm, sweet, peppery taste that is famously used in the variety of Italian recipes. Not only it is essential garnish herb to accentuate the color and fragrance, but it is also a smooth and mild herb to pair with other kinds of herbs.

What fruit goes well with basil?

Refreshing summer fruit salad is perfectly complemented with chopped basil to give extra sweetness. The herb works well with mouthwatering frozen treats like ice cream and sorbet, basil is an excellent herb to add a touch of minty freshness to create a unique dessert.

Fruits paired with basil can be sliced, sprinkled with a bit of sugar, and have grated ginger sprinkled over them with torn basil leaves sprinkled throughout. Basil can either be eaten when cooked or raw, depending on the type and preparation method.

Here are fruits that go well with basil:

  • apricots
  • blueberries
  • lemon
  • lime
  • nectarines
  • orange
  • peaches
  • pineapple
  • raspberries

What cheese goes well with basil?

Whether you are making sauce or quick appetizer, basil goes well with simple and mild cheese. From grilled cheese sandwich to fresh chopped salads, it makes every bite worth a try.

When selecting cheese options to pair with basil, try these classic flavors:

What flavor goes with basil?

The flavors that go well with basil include garlic, savory, thyme, oregano, or bay leaf. When used fresh, basil goes well with mint, chives, dill, garlic, watercress, parsley, or nasturtium. 

These herbs and spices actually enhance basil and take the dishes flavor to the next level. In addition, when added to the very end of cooking, it gives a fresh and lively touch to the dish.

If you are looking for other flavors that go with basil, here are chef’s go-to flavor combinations to match well with basil:

  • basil + coconut + curry
  • basil + garlic + olive oil + salt
  • basil + garlic + olive oil + parmesan cheese + pine nuts
  • basil + hamachi tuna + tomatoes + watermelon
  • basil + lemon + vanilla
  • basil + mozzarella cheese + tomatoes 
  • basil + olive oil + parmesan cheese
Basil served with pasta

Eat With Basil: Conclusion 

Basil adds more flavor to the meal, and it is an essential herb that can transform into different tastes and fragrances. This herb is identified as a flavoring in Italian recipes, however varietals of basil have found a place in world cuisines including Mediterranean, Thai, and Vietnamese. 

In general, basil is widely known to serve with slices of mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar for easy salad or appetizer. However, it goes with variety or summer vegetables, fruits, seafood, meat, bread, and wine.

As well as it can be served cooked or raw by blending into pesto, sauce, or soups, especially with bean, chowder, vegetables or Asian soups. 

Due to its mild and sweet flavor, basil pairs wonderfully with other herbs such as cilantro, oregano, parsley, thyme to create diverse flavored dishes that are sweet, salty, spice, or savory. 

However, avoid pairing with tarragon because it does not go well with basil and has overpowering flavor that destroy the final dish.

Understanding how to combine basil with other ingredients will leave you with the best food pairings possible. Use the classic flavor profiles shared above for harmonious matches and incredible meals.

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