In the culinary world, there is a wide range of spices and herbs used to make dishes flavorful. Contrary to what many believe, these spices and herbs are not just thrown into the dishes to make them delicious.
There is a proper way of using them and knowing how to measure them to suit a specific dish appropriately.
Often, the common mistake by many is not knowing the correct equivalent of fresh spices and herbs and their dried counterpart.
This simple mistake can spell disaster to a dish which is why it must be appropriately studied. One of the pressing queries often asked is the equivalent of ½ cup fresh basil to dried. With that, we will find out the answer to that question, plus more.
Used in a variety of dishes, basil is a type of herb from the mint family. Many commonly know that it is the main ingredient used for pesto and is also a typical seasoning used in tomato-based pasta dishes.
It is green in color and usually has large, smooth leaves. It exudes a fragrant sweet smell and has a peppery taste to it. Basil is known to be a staple herb used in most Italian dishes, but it can also be found in Southeast Asian dishes, mainly from Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Fresh Basil vs. Dried Basil
Although basil can be incorporated in many dishes, you need to be careful whether to use fresh basil or dried basil in a specific dish. For instance, if you are thinking of using dried basil as an alternative to fresh basil, make sure that the dish only uses it in small quantities and not as the main ingredient.
A specific dish like pesto would not go well if you use dried basil to replace the fresh one. Another vital aspect to remember is the equivalent of fresh basil to its dried counterpart.
To keep it simple, experts recommend that you use twice as much fresh basil to replace dried basil when used for cooking. For example, two teaspoons of fresh basil would be equivalent to one teaspoon of dried basil.
To answer our query of how much is ½ cup of fresh basil to dried, we need first to remember that one cup is equivalent to ½ teaspoon of fresh basil. This means that ½ cup of fresh basil is ¼ teaspoon. Given that amount, ¼ teaspoon of fresh basil is equal to ½ teaspoon of dried basil.
Dried basil is more concentrated compared to fresh basil and has a different flavor altogether. Dried basil is best used in dishes such as soups, stews, and cooked sauces. It can also be included in a spice rub for some dishes.
On the other hand, fresh basil is often used for salsa dishes, salad dressings, or a garnish dish. It is normally incorporated at the end of the cooking process. This is to preserve its structure, color, and fragrance.
Recipe Using Fresh Basil
As mentioned, fresh basil is often used for dishes like salad, salsa and serves as a garnish to many more. However, one recipe that uses fresh basil as the main ingredient is pesto to try out at home.
Parsley – Basil Pesto
– 2 cups of fresh basil leaves (loosely packed)
– 1 cup of Italian parsley (loosely packed)
– ¼ cup of almonds (slivered and toasted)
– 2 pieces garlic cloves
– 4 teaspoons of grated lemon zest
– ⅓ cup of lemon juice
– 2 tablespoons of honey
– ½ teaspoon of salt
– ½ cup of olive oil
– ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1. Using a small food processor, put in your basil, parsley, almonds, and garlic. Pulse until everything is evenly chopped. You can then add the lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, and salt.
Process all the ingredients until it is well-blended. Add in your oil in a steady stream, followed by the cheese.
2. Store the finished product in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. Keep in mind to consume this within one week.
Recipe Using Dried Basil
Dried basil, on the other hand, is often used in soups and stews. Here is an easy recipe if you want to give it a go.
– 1 cup of pasta
– 1 teaspoon garlic (finely chopped)
– ⅓ cup of red onions (finely chopped)
– ¼ cup of green beans (sliced)
– ⅓ cup of carrots (diced)
– ⅓ cup of corn
– ½ cup of red kidney beans (boiled)
– ½ cup of white beans (boiled)
– ⅓ cup of spinach
– ¾ cup of tomatoes (crushed)
– ¾ cup of tomatoes (pureed)
– ½ teaspoon of red chili flakes
– ½ teaspoon of oregano
– ¼ teaspoon of rosemary
– ¼ teaspoon of thyme
– ½ teaspoon of dried basil
– ½ teaspoon of black pepper
– ¼ cup of parmesan cheese (grated)
– 2 tablespoon of olive oil
– 4 cups of vegetable broth or water
1. Sauté your chopped garlic in a pan and add onions, carrots, corn, and beans. Add in all of your dry spices afterward.
2. Next, you can then add the chopped spinach, beans, and be sure to mix everything properly. Add in the water afterward.
3. Sauté everything and then add the tomato purée and tomato sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
4. Next, add in the tomato purée and cheese, and let it cook for a couple more minutes. After that, add vegetable broth and let it again cook for several minutes more, after which you can serve it hot.