Basil is a member of the mint family.
In general, basil is best used fresh, as its flavor changes substantially when dried. The tender deep green leaves of the basil plant are the best part to use in cooking, but thinner stalks can also be used. The thicker parts of the stem tend to be more bitter and should be thrown out.
Use basil in a pesto, whole leaves in salads or pasta dishes, or chopped as a topper for meats and veggies.
To store, snip off the stem ends and place your basil in a jar with an inch of water then cover loosely with a plastic bag and store on a cool counter top at room temperature. The cold temperatures of the fridge will cause basil to brown prematurely.
To freeze chop the leaves and toss them in olive oil. The oil should keep the leaves from going dark in the freezer. Transfer to ice cube trays or small containers to freeze in usable quantities. You can also chop the leaves and freeze in water in ice cube trays.
We have several types of basil in the Abundant Harvest Organics produce boxes in the summer and fall seasons.
Lemon basil is perfect for curries, soups, and stir fries. It adds great flavor to standard lemon and basil recipes including cakes, roast chicken, pasta, fish, and potatoes. Add it at the very end of cooking to preserve the flavor.
The most familiar basil is the classic Italian basil, great for pestos and topping all types of dishes.
Purple Ruffle Basil
The flavor of the purple basil is most like the classic Italian basil.
Also sometimes called holy basil, Thai basil has a distinct flavor with hints of anise or licorice, best for an authentic Thai curry.