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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Alternative for Basil

    I know everyone raves about it, but I hate fresh basil. What would you suggest as an alternative?

    From the nigella team:

    Basil is a popular herb as it is fairly mild, with slightly aniseed and slightly minty notes. As it is one of the milder herbs it is quite difficult to substitute but if it is being used in a cooked dish, such as a tomato sauce or on a pizza, then oregano is another mild herb which could be used.

    If you want to make pesto then you can cut down the amount of basil used and add baby leaf spincah instead. This will give a sauce with a much milder basil flavour but still with the bright green colour. If you like peppery flavours then you could use rocket (arugula) in the pesto instead.

    For salads you could use a small amount of chopped fresh oregano or parsley, but as the flavour of uncooked fresh herbs is quite strong you may prefer just to omit the herbs altogether.

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