Ahhh… Basil!

Posted by on April 21, 2009 at 2:09 pm.


I love it!  I love the taste.  I love the smell.  I love the shape of the plant.  And basil must like me too because my plants tend to get huge.  But that’s OK.  I will eat it all summer long!

There are many different varieties of basil and I have tried several, but my favorite is still the plain old ‘Sweet Basil’ or the ‘Genovese Basil’.  It reminds me of the three years I lived in Italy.

Although it’s not a native to Texas, basil is so easy to grow here and a must for any herb garden.  it is incredible in any pasta dish.  It will grow strong up until the first frost with a slight lag during the highest heat of the summer (this may be more of a water issue since I tend not to do a lot of extra watering).

Basil will start to flower later in the season.  At this point, I usually cut it back pretty good from the top and use the youngest leaves and toss the rest in the compost.  The older leaves start to get a strong hot flavor to them.

For a great summer salad, try slicing up some homegrown tomatoes along with some fresh mozzarella (you know, the wet kind) and then top with basil cut into small strips. Don’t wash the basil too much or you will lose a lot of the flavor – just enough to knock and dirt or sand off of it.  Then drizzle some olive oil over it and give it a good sprinkling of sea salt.  This is what is called a ‘Caprese Salad’.  You can eat it like this or put it on a nice crusty roll and eat it like a sandwich.  Yum!


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