Basil Shopping Guide

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Basil is such a versatile herb. You can use it in hors d’oeuvres, but it’s just as delightful in a dessert. Here’s everything you need to start cooking with basil.

Buying Guide for All Things Basil

Summer’s here and I’m feeling that familiar itch to grow something. Except I have a black thumb instead of green. I try every single year but always end up “borrowing” fresh herbs from my neighbor who has the most beautiful gardens.

This year, my neighbor has nudged me to try growing basil. It’s easy, she said. We’ll see. What I do know is that there are plenty of delicious basil recipes that I want to cook. The cooking part I’ve got down. Here’s everything you need to get started with cooking and to get into the basil mood.

I’ll probably try growing basil in a can. It looks easy enough, and it’s just plain cute.

Once you pat yourself on the back for being a gardening goddess, dry your basil. You can go old-school and let nature do it with an herb dryer. Or speed it up with a food dehydrator. Or you can just buy dried basil.

Even babies can get into the craze with basil baby food.

Basil dish soap makes it so easy to clean up. Plus you’ll smell good. Win-win.

My sister has this herb cutter. I’m going to steal it because it’s awesome. I also have always wanted a mezzaluna. Or maybe I just like saying that word. Mezzaluna. (If you don’t know what that is, it’s the half moon (get it? luna!) herb chopper in the picture above.

Daydreaming about a mezzaluna got me feeling sophisticated and extravagant, which led me to the ultimate mezzaluna cutting board, this one by John Boos, of course.

Now I’d better stop shopping or I won’t have money left to actually buy my basil seeds!

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Amy Bowen

Amy had no clue how to cook until she became the food reporter for a daily newspaper in Minnesota. At 25, she even struggled with boxed mac and cheese. These days, Amy is a much better cook, thanks to interviewing cooks and chefs for more than 10 years. She even makes four cheese macaroni and cheese with bacon, no boxed mac in sight. Amy is also on the editorial team at The Cookful.