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
Basil: A herb
Member Name: Ninski1
Advantages: Very versatile
Disadvantages: Cannot be frozen and is poor in flavour when dried
I grow my own Basil, this is how. Around late April early May I fill small pots with multi purpose compost, thinly sprinkle with some Basil seeds and water, I keep them in my green house and wait for around 3 weeks, then they will have sprouted into little plants, I them transfer them into my herb garden, which gets quite a bit of sun and well, the rest nature takes care of really. I also put some in a decorative pot and leave it on my window sill, so it is within easy reach when I am cooking.
I think Basil has a slight peppery taste when fresh, which can sometimes be a little sweet I would also say that it has notes of liquorice. I have never tried dried Basil but have been told that it has little flavour and that using fresh Basil is always recommended. Basil does not freeze well either, ending up as a soggy mess, so if you find yourself with a glut I would suggest making up a batch of Pesto - here is my recipe:
* Big bunch of fresh Basil
* 45g of pine nuts
* 80g grated parmesan (Vegetarian) or 50g parmesan and 30g pecorino cheese
* 1-2 cloves of garlic - depending on how big they are and your love of garlic
* 100-150ml of olive oil
I basically stick in all in blender, though on the odd occasion I use my pestle and mortar, adding the olive oil until I get the consistency that I want, it keeps in the fridge for about a week or so.
I use fresh Basil mainly in Italian cooking, in general, it is added at the last moment, as cooking quickly destroys the flavor, adding it into lasagna, or tomato paste dished, I also make a light salad using tomatoes, mozzarella, basil leaves a grinding of fresh black pepper corns and a drizzle of good olive oil, I always tend to have too much Basil I also make my own Basil infused oil, by dropping a few leaves into a small air tight glass jar and leaving it soak up all the Basil flavour, does not take to long, a few days, but I think its best left for a few weeks and then used in your Italian cooking or as a simple salad dressing.
Overall I find Basil to be very easy to grow, it has number of diverse culinary uses and smells fantastic, it is worth growing your own as the seeds are inexpensive the results pleasing.
Summary: Fantastic herb that is easy to grow and use
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