Newest Review: ... be planted outside from June. The leaves can be collected from about July until September. Basil is an annual. Why grow it? ***********... more
The Sweetest Thing....
Member Name: katestuartuk
Advantages: Wonderful smell, taste and goes perfectly with tomatoes for a divine salad sensation!
Disadvantages: I can only get it to grow in the summer time - it likes sun!
I am probably the world's biggest fan of the humble tomato. Cherry tomato, beef tomato, vine or all round standard straight out of tesco tomato. If there's a tomato in the house, I'm a happy girl. You're probably wondering what exactly tomatoes have to do with basil, but the answer is very clear. Tomatoes are even greater with basil than without. Take this evening for example. My pregnant taste buds wanted cheese. Very badly. So I bought three different types, and eventually settled on a fat, squat, buffalo mozzarella. Some organic cherry tomatoes from our veg box scheme bag of goodies, bit of fresh ground black pepper and some balsamic dressing. Hey presto, a lovely bit of salad for a friday evening. But I'm telling you it was made all the rounder, all the fuller, all the more flavoursome, with the addition of 5 fat juicy basil leaves, ripped to tiny shreds and sprinkled over the top. Sensational!
Basil is a wonderfully versatile herb, so very easy to grow on your windowsill, or even outside if you live in the sunny south. I have to admit to never acheiving success with basil outside, as it tends to either grow stunted and pale from lack of sun, or sprout away happily only to be devoured by hungry greenfly. So I keep mine on the kitchen windowsill, in the sunshine, safe from every hungry mouth but mine!
My favourite way to use this pungent, sweet smelling herb is with tomatoes, but not just salad - try adding a teaspoon of sugar and a handful of basil leaves to a tin of heinz tomato soup, and serve with some garlic crutons and a sprinkling of parmazan cheese. Divine!!! Basil is also great in quiche and scrambled eggs, along with finely chopped chives. It's even good in bread, try it with sundried tomatoes and nutty bits if you have a bread maker or like homemade bread. Just don't just too much or you'll end up with green bread which while tasting amazing will probably be a little bit visually offputting!
The most famous use for basil is of course pesto, which is pine nuts, parmazan cheese, basil and olive oil, all ground up to make a wonderfully scented treat for pasta, ciabatta, or even (though not a great Italian speciallity...) baked potatoes....!
If you get the chance this summer, you should definately have a go with a pot of basil on your windowsill. It will make the sweetest tomatoes sweeter, and add a bit of oomph to your salads and dressings. Make sure you keep it well watered, and always pinch out the topmost leaves first, so you give the plant a chance to recover itself and make more leaves. Shop bought plants will do better for a slightly bigger pot than the one you bought it in, and some nice fresh compost - by the time you buy them, they've already drained most of the nutrients in the soil they're in, so a bit extra will give them a boost!
Good luck and happy tomato eating!
Thank you for reading, Kate x
Summary: A wonderful herb to use in your summer dishes!
More reviews in the field of Plant
- Cowslip....Did you know its named after Cow s**t
- Beautiful smelling and you can make nice biscuits
- Lovely when roasted
- The best herb in the kitchen
- Thoughts of things to come .....
- Dress your garden in Granny's Bonnets
- Nature's Valium....
- There's nothing so sweet as a freshly dug and lightly boiled new potato
- Can you see in the dark??