Basil

Basil is a highly fragrant plant whose leaves are used as a seasoning herb for many different types of foods. Basil has become one of the most recognizable herbs ever since pesto. Basil has round leaves that are oftentimes pointed. They are green in color, although some varieties feature hints of red or purple. Basil looks a little like peppermint, which is not surprising since they belong to the same plant family. The scientific name for basil is Ocimum basilicum.

product-basil

Nutritional facts:

Used as a medicinal plant, and its oils and extracts are said to have antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Healthy levels of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, and magnesium.

Flavour:

Fresh basil has an initial subtle peppery flavour. The taste then evolves into a slightly sweet anise flavour. When cooking with basil it should be added at the end of cooking.While the taste of basil is bright and pungent, other varieties also offer unique tastes: lemon basil, anise basil and cinnamon basil all have flavours that subtly reflect their name.

Goes well with:

Garlic and olive oil to make a dairy-free variety of pesto that can top a variety of dishes including pasta, salmon and whole wheat bruschetta. Enjoy a taste of Italy by layering fresh basil leaves over tomato slices and mozzarella cheese to create this traditional colourful and delicious salad. Adding basil to healthy stir-fries, especially those that include eggplant, cabbage, chili peppers, tofu and cashew nuts will give them a Thai flair.


Recipes

Basil and Lime Sorbet

  • 1 wineglass water (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 wineglass sugar (equal in weight to the water)
  • 5 to 6 limes, zested
  • 1 glass lime juice
  • 1 very large bunch basil, pounded to a puree

Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Bruschetta

  • 1 (32-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and spun dry
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large French baquettes, sliced 1-inch thick (about 36 slices)
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4-inch thick

Pesto

  • 4 cups fresh Basil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 slice of bread
  • Salt and pepper