Basil is most commonly used fresh because cooking diminishes its flavor. It’s generally added to recipes after the other ingredients have been cooked. Dried basil is available but not as widely utilized as the fresh version.
The basil plant can be grown indoors or outdoors and will grow in most climates with proper care. Its leaves generally have a shiny, light-green hue, but purple basil is also becoming popular. Like many herbs, basil is said to help control garden pests.
Basil is a versatile ingredient, but it’s most often used in Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. Caprese dishes – which could be anything from a salad to a pizza to a stuffed avocado – combine basil with #mozzarella, #tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Basil is also the key ingredient in pesto, an Italian sauce or spread that also incorporates olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and parmesan cheese.
My favorite way to eat basil? I’m a caprese fan, so I can make a great lunch out of a handful of basil, a juicy tomato, some mozzarella cheese and some #balsamic #vinaigrette dressing. If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out.