All about Basil

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basil_cBasil is one of the most popular herbs used in cooking today. It is a very versatile herb, and is used in Italian, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines amongst many others. It has a warm, aromatic but gentle flavor, with a hint of spicey aniseed. It's well known that it goes extremely well with tomatoes, where it can be served raw in salads such as the classic Italian Caprese, or cooked into a rich tomato sauce for pasta or other hot dishes.

General Description

Basil is a bright green, leafy plant, Ocimum basilicum, which is in the mint family.

Origin

Basil is grown primarily in the United States, France, and the Mediterranean region.

Traditional Use

Basil is widely used in Italian cuisine and is often paired with tomatoes. It is also used in Thai cooking. The herb complements meat, vegetables, cheese, and egg dishes.

Taste and Aroma

Basil has a sweet, herbal bouquet.

Ideas to Get You Started

Basil tastes great in tomato and pasta dishes but it is also gives a sweetscented, minty aroma when crumbled over baked chicken, lamb, or fish.

It blends well with garlic, thyme, and oregano.

Crush dried leaves with your hand or in a mortar and pestle to release the herb's flavour.

Start with 1/2 teaspoon for 4 servings; add more to taste.


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