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Basil

What is basil? About the ingredient basil. Including 2,731 recipes with basil, nutrition data, photos, where it's found, and video.

About

Basil is normally used fresh in cooked recipes. It is generally added at the last moment, as cooking quickly destroys the flavour. The fresh herb can be kept for a short time in plastic bags in the refrigerator, or for a longer period in the freezer, after being blanched quickly in boiling water.

The dried herb also loses most of its flavour, and what little flavour remains tastes very different, with a weak coumarin flavour, like hay.

Basil is one of the main ingredients in pesto—a green Italian oil-and-herb sauce. Its other two main ingredients are olive oil and pine nuts.

A popular technique is to "chiffonade" the basil.  Roll up the leaves and roll as if making a cigar.  Using a freshly sharpened knife slice the leaves cleanly.

Be careful to be gentle and avoid overly brusing the leaves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are 5 or 6 main varieties of basil a member of the mint family all differing in height color and taste. Each variety of this annual is very hardy and will grow in most climates.

The exact species determines leaf color ranging from light to dark green to purple White flowers are common to all appearing at the tops of the branches.

The basil most often used in the US is of the two tall varieties of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum). Reaching a height of one to two feet its branches will spread out almost as far. Dwarf basil (Ocimum minimum) grows from six inches to one foot tall in either the green-leaf or the purple-leaf variety.

These can form small bushes making excellent garden borders. The French use them frequently in formal gardens.

All basil varieties have a unique fragrance and taste that add zest and flavor in cooking.

The word basil comes from the Greek basilikon meaning “royal” or “king.”

Whether its purple color. used in classical times by royalty, or its use in some royal preparation or medicine, inspired such an elevated name is unknown. Basil is native to the Middle East and the

 In India basil is called “tulasi”. The Hindus regard it as a sacred herb, cultivating it near temple and home as protection against the misfortunes of life and as a guide to heaven in death. Basil offered protection against the dread malaria, as well as the assurance of fertility to those desiring children. Beads were made of the root to adorn the neck and arms and a rosary was made from the seeds. 

A leaf of basil was placed on the breast of the pious Hindu in death. Good fortune comes to those who build their houses where “tulasi” grows well, but only evil to those who inadvertently uproot the holy herb.

Basil was “rayhan” to the Persians and could be found in cemeteries. Egyptians also regarded this herb as having a funereal symbolism.

For the ancient Greeks, basil appeared as a symbol of hatred, but present day Greeks have a different opinion, for one sees this fragrant herb happily growing in blue pots on window sills, all over their country.

We must thank the Italians for finding a happy use for this herb: with a sprig of basil tucked behind her ear or in her dress, the peasant girl sets out to win her sweetheart. Basil is called “amorino” in Turkey.

In Humania the enchanted herb, when given to a youth by a girl, makes him forever hers. This symbol of love takes on curative properties in Africa, where it is said that if one eats basil after a scorpion bite one feels no pain.

Sweet basil is a delicious culinary seasoning. It is useful in almost any dish that can be “herbed” and is especially pleasing including in seafoods, salads, potatoes and vegetable soup dishes that contain tomatoes.

Basil may be used fresh or dried. It makes a delightful, easily potted plant especially the purple variety.

 

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Back to the Roots Garden-in-a-Can Grow Organic Herbs Variety Pack, Basil/Cilantro/Dill/Sage, 4 Count

Back to the Roots Garden-in-a-Can Grow Organic Herbs Variety Pack, Basil/Cilantro/Dill/Sage, 4 Count

by Back to the Roots

Ready-to-grow cans make indoor herb gardening fun and easy! Each organic herb variety can includes everything you need to start growing, including: organic, non-GMO seeds, nutrient rich soil, and moisture-balancing biochar - all pre-blended for low-maintenance, organic herbs right on your kitchen or classroom windowsill. Just plant the organic seeds, water, and grow! Learn more about the the science inside plants and your home herb garden with hands-on curriculum - from the parts and functions of a plant, to the growth cycle and benefits to our ecosystem. Download the full Garden-in-a-Can curriculum at backtotheroots.com! Grow One, Give One! Submit a photo of your growing Garden-in-a-Can - for every photo Back to the Roots receives, they donate one to a classroom of your choice. Upload your photo at backtotheroots.com/giveone. When you're ready to harvest, visit backtotheroots.com for mouthwatering herb recipe ideas. From herb butter to salsa, dips, sauces, soups, and more - there's a tasty herb-inspired recipe for every palette! With biochar, it is never been easier to grow herbs indoors. Biochar is the charred remnants of agricultural waste through a process called pyrolysis, a technique mastered by Amazonian tribes centuries ago. Biochar is very porous and holds excess moisture to prevent over- or under-watering, aerates the soil for quick root growth, and increases nutrient absorption. No need for transplanting, drainage holes, or messy trays - the biochar does the work for you, making each herb garden kit simple and fun.

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Tone's Sweet Basil Leaf - 5.5 oz. shaker

Tone's Sweet Basil Leaf - 5.5 oz. shaker

by Tone's

Select aromatic quality Kosher Professional quality guarantee

$8.02

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Thai Sweet Basil Fresh 14 Oz

Thai Sweet Basil Fresh 14 Oz

by TastePadThai

14 oz. Fresh Thai Sweet Basil Leaf

$12.50

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McCormick Gourmet 100% Organic Basil-2.85 oz

McCormick Gourmet 100% Organic Basil-2.85 oz

by McCormick

$6.99

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Sweet Italian Basil-4oz-Cut & Sifted-Favorite Italian Herb

Sweet Italian Basil-4oz-Cut & Sifted-Favorite Italian Herb

by Denver Spice

Packed in a heat-sealed re-sealable poly pouch Packed to Order for Optimal Freshness Shipping in 24 Hours or Less on All Orders Multi-Item Shipping Discounts Available at Our Amazon Store Each Order includes a coupon code for future orders

$5.93

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Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 2 tbsp (5g)
Amount per Serving
Calories 1Calories from Fat 0
 % Daily Value *
Total Fat 0.0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0.0g 0%
Trans Fat ~
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0.2g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Sugars 0.0
Protein 0.1g
Vitamin A 5% Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 1% Iron 1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your caloric needs.

Where found

Basil is usually found in the produce section or aisle of the grocery store or supermarket.

Food group

Basil is a member of the Spices and Herbs USDA nutritional food group.

How much does basil weigh?

measure grams
2 tbsp 5
5 leaves 2

Video

In Chinese:罗勒
British (UK) term: Basil
en français:basilic
en español:albahaca

Recipes using basil

There are 2855 recipes that contain this ingredient.

10 Minute Thai Basil Beef
15 Minute Tomato Soup
4th of July Grilled Portobello Burgers
5 Layer Quinoa Lasagna
A Penne for Your Thoughts
A1 World's Best Tomato Sauce
Absolutely Fab Mushroom Lasagna
Albondigas Soup
Alice's Zucchini Crust Pizza
All-In-One Sausage and Zucchini Casserole
Almond-Crusted Chicken Breasts
American Chop Suey

All 2,855 recipes

References

See more about basil almost 7 years ago
Usda nutrition data over 2 years ago

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