The most common form of basil is, sweet basil. Sweet basil is used in many culinary dishes. However, there are many forms of basil that can be sweet, fragrant, and vary in color (shades of green and purple). Dealing with the fragrant side of basil, this is do to high amounts of essential oils found in the leaves and various parts of the plant. These chemicals, methyl chavicol, eugenol and linalool, affect basil in various ways. Linalool produces a floral scent, chavicol adds a sweet flavor similar to anise, and eugenol is also found in cloves.
Uses in Various Cultures
Uses Today in Our Culture
Basil looks like an oval shaped leaf. It is light green and may have a stem.
Initially, a peppery taste is apparent. The taste also involves a sweet flavor similar to anise.
A fresh basil leaf feels like a typical leaf, soft. Dried basil feels more like dead leaf, crunchy.
What is it made from?
How does it change the flavor of foods?
Common Recipes that basil is Used In
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 garlic cloves
4 cups loosely packed basil leaves (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 cups chopped seeded tomato, drained (about 2 large)
1. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add nuts to pan; cook 4 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring constantly. Remove from pan.
2. Combine nuts and garlic in a food processor; process until minced. Add basil, oil, salt, and peppers; process until blended, scraping sides occasionally. Add cheese; process until smooth. Spoon into a bowl; fold in tomato.
3. (Optional) Add pasta and grilled shrimp
- High levels of Vitamin K
- inhibit strains of bacteria that are antibiotic resistant
- Good source of Vitamin A-cardiovascular help
- Magnesium-improve blood flow
Interesting facts about Basil
- Basil is sacred in Hinduism
- basil plants can grow small flowers on the tops of the plants that can be pink, white, or mauve
- There are many strains of basil and each strain has a different aroma