One delicious and versatile way to utilize fresh basil is to make Basil Butter. The butter will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer for a month.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet basil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2tsp. freshly grated lemon rind
1/2tsp. ground white pepper
Salt to taste
In a bowl, combine the butter, basil, garlic, lemon zest, white pepper and salt and mash until well combined. Serve immediately as a spread for dinner rolls or shape the basil butter into a 1 inch log using plastic wrap. Refrigerate until very firm or freeze. When ready to use, slice into 1/4 inch coins and stir into hot pasta, melt over steamed vegetables or over just-off-the-grill meats.