Basil is by far my most favorite herb in the world. I use it in everything from pesto to my favorite tomato arrabiata sauce, to salads to vinaigrettes and fruity smoothies. I even make little bouquets of flowers mixed in oregano, purple and green basil sprigs to keep on my kitchen counter.
Not to mention, salads and pizza and even tea. Who doesn’t like basil ?! Here are some cool things and facts:
1. Basil is native to tropical Asia and belongs to the mint family.
2. Sweet basil is also called Genoese Basil, it has a sweet aroma with a warm flavor with notes of clove and anise. It is the best for pestos and salads. Combines great with tomatoes, garlic, cheese, lemon, olives, pasta and peaches.
3. Store it in a glass of water at room temperature out of direct sunlight. The fresh leaves are the parts mostly used, but you may use the flower buds for garnish or in a salad.
4. Purple Basil is beautiful, highly aromatic with purple leaves and pink flowers.
5. Cinnamon Basil is native to Mexico with a sweet scent and cinnamon notes. It has pink flowers and purple flushed leaves.
6. African Blue Basil is peppery and minty with purple flowers and green purple leaves. Makes an amazing pesto.
7. Lettuce Basil has wrinkled large leaves and perfect for salads. Very popular in Southern Italy.
8. Licorice Basil is an Asian decorative plant .
9. Holy Basil is the essential ingredient of the Thai dish ” Stir-fried chicken with chili peppers and basil “
10. Lemon Basil has a fresh lemony fragrance perfect for salads.
11. Thai Lemon Basil or Hairy Basil has a lemony-peppery flavor.
12. Lime Basil has a lime flavor and is great in salads and with seafood.