I might be able to overlook it if it were the middle of winter.
Then again, I probably wouldn't.
Basil in tube from the freezer is inexcusable.
If it happened to be winter, and if I happened to live in some remote outpost (like Brazil, maybe?) where fresh, fragrant sweet basil were not always readily available, I just might be willing to let it slide. BUT,
It is the middle of summer, fresh basil is everywhere.
It is everywhere in big bunches, most of the time for about a buck.
The big bunches keep for a couple of weeks at room temperature if you put them in a nice big vase of water. (With the added bonus that they look great on your kitchen counter)
So, last night I was speaking with my good friend Deb, who asked me how I had made the cantalope wrapped in prosciutto a few weeks ago. Well....you wrap prosciutto around cantalope. Well, but what was it that I drizzled on top? Oh, a basil, lemon vinaigrette and some chopped marcona almonds. So Deb says, "Great, I have all of that! I'm squeezing basil right now!" WHATTTT??????
There really is no excuse. I don't buy it when she says she can't taste the difference. Is it possible that she suffers from a lack of taste buds? Or has she been deprived of real basil for so long that she can no longer remember the difference? Or should I just call her a dork? I'm not sure, but I will be performing a basil intervention. I am going to get her one of those big bunches and deposit it on her counter. It will be like the old advice about if you want to learn how to cook, buy a ham....(By the time you figure out what to do with all that meat, you'll have learned to cook.)
So, by the time she gets to the end of that bunch of basil, she will never resort to that crap in a tube again.
(Here is my confession, though: I do buy lemongrass in a tube and keep it in the freezer; it is not available fresh at my closest market and I often do not know in advance that I need it, if I do know, I buy it fresh.)
Here is a great use for basil: Pistou or French pesto.
In a mini processor (or use a big one, or use a mortar and pestle) combine 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1 C basil, and 1/4 C olive oil. Whir it until smooth.
Here is a great recipe using pistou:
Toast two slices of baguette. Top with two poached eggs, 2 T pistou and shaved parmesan. Try not to eat more than two, we wouldn't want you to get high cholesterol.