B is For Basil: One Of The Great Culinary Herbs
Did you know that there are over 20 different varieties of the basil? Yeah, that is a whole lot of flavor that you have been missing out on!! Basil is one of the great culinary herbs; the different varieties are used extensively across Europe and Asia in cooking. This little herb is loved by cooks across the world for its rich aroma and distinctively sweet scent and flavor.
You can buy dried basil in your local grocery store, this option is convenient, easy to use and basically lasts forever… but it isn't even close to the fresh alternative! You can usually buy fresh basil in your produce section, but you are going to be paying more. Instead of paying the premium, I would recommend is growing it yourself!
The best part of growing your own basil is that you are not limited to the selection at your local grocery store. With a quick visit to your local nursery, you should be able to find several different kinds to choose from and grow. If that doesn’t suit your fancy, you can always order seeds from the comfort of your home, online. With a click of a button, your choices will be limitless!
|Harry Potter Fighting a Giant Basilisk|
Fun Fact: Basil has both positive and negative associations that include love and fear, danger and protection, and life and death. The negative connotations probably come from basil’s Latin epithet basilicum, which links it to the basilisk; a mystical serpent that can turn you to stone with its deadly gaze.
Currently, I am growing two different kinds on a windowsill; a common sweet basil and a lemon basil plant. Once the plants become a bit more established, you can transplant it to a container outside (season permitting) or just keep it inside. I plan on keeping my herbs in the kitchen, they add a nice bit of green to the atmosphere and they will always be just an arm’s length away when you need them in your cooking adventures. Regardless of what kind you decide to buy or grow, using them is relatively the same.
|My basil plants, started from seeds.|
Whenever I have fresh basil to use, I will just pick a few of the leaves and roughly chop them into the required amount. Since fresh basil is more flavorful in comparison to its dried counterpart, don’t be too worried about cramming the exact amount onto that teaspoon.
Tomorrow, I will be blogging about one of my favorite spices from the Middle East. Stay tuned to see what you have been missing out on!
Till next time,