Growing on a windowsill near you, find out more about this loved-the-world-over herb and go beyond adding a pinch to pasta sauces with our round up of basilicious recipes.
A bit about basil
For a herb that’s as much a part of Italian cooking as pizza, basil originates from India and South East Asia. True fact. It’s also a member of the mint family and its name is thought to come from the Greek word basileus meaning king. All hail basil!
Like most herbs it’s said to be good for a whole range of ailments. Soothe a sore throat, improve digestion, relieve stress – or just chuck it in a dish to ramp up the flavour and tingle your taste buds.
Basil for days
Sweet basil, holy basil, African blue basil, lime basil, Thai basil – who knew there were so many varieties? It’s mainly sweet basil you’ll find in the supermarket but you can hunt down other types in Asian supermarkets and online.
Buy it cut and store in the fridge or buy a pot and water it to keep it going. Fancy growing your own from seed? It lasts way longer, try these tips. And when you’ve too much, fresh basil can also be frozen. Dried basil is another option but it’s not a patch on the fresh stuff.
Three words: basil, beer, bread. Yep, an easy bread recipe flavoured with basil and beer. Need more encouragement? Three more words: slathered, in, butter. Mmm.
You’ve heard of devilled eggs – how about basil eggs? Now these are some green eggs we’re happy to tuck in to!
Big basil eats
Basil pops up in plenty of Asian recipes and this Thai basil pork is as easy as it is tasty.
This recipe for cannellini bean and roast squash with basil dressing has summer food written all over it. Double up the dressing to drizzle over any salad.
Sweet on basil
Basil’s sweet flavour makes it great for desserts. Crazy as it sounds, this no-churn basil ice cream made with just four ingredients is a real winner. Seriously, try it.
Whatever your summer social plans (a distanced BBQ or meter apart picnic perhaps?) include this crowd-wowing strawberry basil tart. Shortbread base, custard filling, juicy strawberries and hints of basil – tart very much!
Drink it in
To round things off, we’re sharing some delicious ways to sip on basil. Start the day with a zingy apple basil smoothie, sure to leave you feeling invigorated.