Basil (also known as “sweet basil”) is a fragrant herb used in many different cuisines around the world. It is commonly used in Italian cooking, but it originates from the more tropical climate of central Africa and Southeast Asia.
Basil plants grow well both in the ground and in pots. It grows well and quickly in warm and sunny weather.
Basil is mostly grown for their leaves but the stems can also be used. Basil leaves are used frequently to flavour and garnish food.
Fresh or dried It gives tomato sauces body and flavour, it is great in soups and dips.
Basil is the main ingredient in Genovese pesto, it gives the pesto a gorgeous vibrant green colour and unmistakable fragrant taste.
Basil vinaigrette traditionally a salad dressing but it can be used as a sauce for chicken, fish, vegetables, and even pasta!
Basil can also make a refreshing cocktail ingredient! A basil smash needs fresh basil, gin, lemon juice and some sugar syrup. Shaken with ice it makes a cool and refreshing end to a long day
As basil is mainly used as a flavouring you can easily swap it for another herb if you don’t have basil to hand!
Oregano or thyme is a good alternative if you are cooking Italian food. For more Latin or Asian-inspired dishes, try using parsley or coriander.
Recipe suggestions: Pesto