Three Ways to Enjoy Basil

Spicy Basil Pesto


  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 serrano pepper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 packed cups (or a couple of good fistfuls) of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil, with more available (needed to make a loose sauce)
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste


  1. Grind garlic clove in a food processor until it is finely chopped.
  2. Trim stem off the serrano, then slice the pepper into chunks. Add it to the machine, seeds and all, while it is running and process until it is finely minced (we recommend wearing gloves when handling a hot pepper).
  3. Next, add the pine nuts and Parmesan cheese and process until everything is smooth. Add the basil and lemon juice and pulse until the basil is broken down. Drizzle in the olive oil while processing.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more olive oil if you prefer a looser pesto. It can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Use within 10 days.

Makes three to four servings and was inspired by a recipe found on The View from the Great Island.

Gin Basil Smash


  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1-inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and diced small
  • 1 fresh lemon, quartered and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons simple syrup
  • 3 ounces vodka


  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine basil leaves, diced ginger, lemon pieces and simple syrup. With your muddler, begin smashing the ingredients. Make sure you crush the basil leaves and ginger and extract the lemon juice while muddling.
  2. Next fill the shaker up with ice and add the vodka.
  3. Shake for about 10 seconds. You want the shaker to get frosty so you have a cold drink.
  4. Strain the light green mixture into your waiting cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh basil. Sip and enjoy.

Makes one serving and was inspired by a recipe found on My Life with Food.  

Cucumber Basil Face Mask


  • Half of a cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 3 to 4 basil leaves


  1. Finely chop the cucumber or grind it in a food processor.
  2. Mix all remaining ingredients together in a bowl until they make a paste.
  3. Massage paste onto damp skin and leave in place for 25 minutes, then rinse off. The paste will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Makes three to four masks and was inspired by a face mask on Glitter Naturally. 

Read our full UnEarthed article on basil HERE! 

Photos Styled by Rachel Rivers