Herb Basil 100G Class 1 - Great Britain £1.89 Alton United Kingdom Www.getfreshandfruity.co.uk

Herb Basil 100G

Class 1 - Great Britain

  • £1.89
  • Save £0.56


Basil

Pronounce it: ba-zil

Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the herb basil has a sweet, strong aroma and flavour. There are three main Mediterranean types: sweet, with large green leaves; Greek, with smaller leaves and a peppery undertone; and purple, whose dark leaves have a milder flavour.

Asian varieties include lemon basil, which has a citrus note and smaller leaves; Thai, like sweet basil, but stronger; and holy basil, spicy and intense, and unusual in that it's best when cooked, rather than raw.

Availability

All year round, but grows best during July and August. Save on packaging by buying a pot from your garden centre or supermarket - it will live quite happily on a sunny windowsill.

Choose the best

It's available freeze-dried, in sunflower oil or dried, but the best to use is fresh; either cut or potted.

Prepare it

Pick fresh basil leaves from their stalks and scatter whole, or roughly torn, over dishes.

Store it

Fresh cut basil should be wrapped in damp kitchen paper, placed in a perforated bag and stored in the fridge - it will last a day or two. Potted basil should be kept in a sunny but sheltered place (a windowsill is ideal) and watered regularly (but not too much, as that will dilute the flavour). As you pick leaves from it, more will grow, and the plant should last several months.

Cook it

Pounded in a pestle and mortar or food processer with garlic, pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil to make pesto; added to tomato-based pasta sauces; combined with sliced mozzarella and tomatoes drizzled with olive oil for a classic Caprese salad; chopped and beaten into softened butter, then melted over steaks, roast chicken, or crushed boiled new potatoes.

Basil is Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the herb basil has a sweet, strong aroma and flavour.

Basil recipes

Basil

A versatile and widely used aromatic herb. Basil is an annual plant that is easy to grow from seed but is very sensitive to cold. The plant grows well in warm climates and is widely used throughout southern Europe, particularly the Mediterranean, and in many parts of Asia. There are numerous species of basil; some have scents reminiscent of pineapple, lemon, cinnamon or cloves; others have beautiful purple leaves. The variety called holy basil (tulsi) is an essential part of an authentic Thai curry. In Mediterranean regions, basil and tomato is a classic combination. Pesto, made from basil leaves and pine nuts, with parmesan or pecorino cheese and olive oil (traditionally pounded together in a mortar and pestle‚“ the latter lends pesto its name) is another classic dish.

Recipes using basil

Main course

Light meals and snacks

Brunch

Starters and nibbles

Side dishes

Desserts

Cakes and baking

Other

See all recipes using basil

Buyer's guide

Basil is widely available in supermarkets; look for bright green leaves with no hint of wilting or black spotting. Dried basil retains little of the aroma and flavour of fresh basil, so is of limited use in the kitchen.


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