Flavor of the Month

Basil Flavor Affinities

As I close up the first “flavor of the month”, I thought I should leave a list of the best flavor pairings for basil for my Flavor Bible. So enjoy the last post for basil, and get creative in the kitchen with these flavor pairings!

Varieties of Basil:

Lemon Basil – has a sour taste and only pairs well with berries, cinnamon, apricots, seafood, peaches, desserts, soups, and vegetables

Thai Basil – has an anise or licorice-like taste and pairs well with Thai ingredients such as lemongrass, coconut milk, curries, ginger, as well as beef and venison.

Cuisines that Pair Well With or Use Basil:

Asian, Cambodian, French, Italian, Mediterranean, Thai, Vietnamese

Flavor Affinities:

basil + coconut + curry

basil + garlic + olive oil + salt

basil + garlic + olive oil + Parmesan + pine nuts

basil + hamachi tuna + tomatoes + watermelon

basil + lemon + vanilla

basil + mozzarella cheese + tomatoes + balsamic vinegar

Matching Flavors


KEY:

“regular type” are pairings suggested by one or more experts

bold were recommended by a number of experts

BOLD CAPS were highly recommended by an even greater number of experts

*BOLD CAPS w/ asterisk are HOLY GRAIL pairings that are the most highly recommended by the greatest number of experts.


 

  • apricots
  • beans: green and white
  • bell peppers, esp red, roasted
  • berries
  • blueberries
  • breads
  • broccoli
  • capers
  • carrots
  • CHEESE: feta, goat, MOZZARELLA, PARMESAN, PECORINO, RICOTTA
  • chicken
  • chile peppers
  • chives
  • white chocolate
  • cilantro
  • cinnamon
  • coconut milk
  • corn
  • crab
  • cream and ice cream
  • cucumber
  • custards
  • duck
  • eggplant
  • EGGS AND EGG DISHES
  • fennel
  • fish, esp. grilled and poached
  • *GARLIC
  • fresh ginger
  • honey
  • lamb
  • lemon, juice
  • lemon verbena
  • lime, juice
  • liver
  • marjoram
  • meats
  • mint
  • mussels
  • mustard, powder and seeds
  • nectarines
  • OLIVE OIL
  • olives
  • onions
  • orange
  • oregano
  • flat-leaf parsley
  • PASTA DISHES AND SAUCES
  • peaches
  • peas
  • pepper, black and white
  • PESTO, key ingredient
  • pineapple
  • pine nuts
  • pizza
  • pork
  • potatoes
  • poultry
  • rabbit
  • raspberries
  • rice
  • rosemary
  • salads and salad dressings
  • salmon
  • salt, kosher and sea
  • sauces
  • scallops
  • sea bass
  • shellfish
  • shrimp
  • soups, esp. Asian, bean, chowder, vegetable
  • soy sauce
  • spinach
  • squash, summer
  • summer vegetables
  • green curries
  • thyme
  • *TOMATOES and tomato sauces
  • tuna
  • vanilla
  • veal
  • vinaigrettes
  • vinegar; balsamic and sherry
  • watermelon
  • ZUCCHINI

AVOID: tarragon

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