Well, when I saw Sweetnick’s post about Weekend Herb Blogging, which Kalyn’s Kitchen hosts, I just jumped at the chance to share what I’ve just learned about basil.
You see, I’ve wanted to grow my own herbs for some time but I wasn’t sure where to start. I mean where do you put them, first of all? And what do you pot them in? And should I buy ones that are already growing or breakout the soil and seeds? Finally when I was doing the weekly grocery shopping yesterday, I decided to just jump right in and take the plunge with an already potted and growing basil plant.
So here it goes.
Care: According to the National Gardening Association, the plant should be kept “in full sun in moist, well-drained soil.” They go on to say (in another article on the subject) that basil plants should have six hours of full sunlight a day, and like warm environs.
Uses: This herb is great with tomato for sauces, bruschetta and salads. It is a great seasoning for Italian dishes as well. Basil is also used in pesto. According to Timeless Herb Secrets, basil can also make for a great bath. “You can make an invigorating beauty bath by adding a strong infusion of fresh basil leaves to your bath. Use 1 cup chopped basil leaves in 2 cups boiling-hot water. Steep for 15-20 minutes,” they write.
Legends: The Greeks once thought that only royalty should harvest this herb with a golden sickle, according to a column at Sally’s Place. Author Linda Gilbert also states that in ancient Rome, it was thought that basil could charm a fire-breathing dragon. Check out that column for some more fun tidbits.
Now onto my recipe to go with this fantastic herb.
Stir diced tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper into pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes until tomatoes break down and sauce thickens.
Toss basil with sauce and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes
Remove from heat and toss with pasta (approximately 1 cup) and cheese
Garnish with Parmesan and additional basil, if desired
Note: Fresh mozzarella is also great with this.