Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is initially associated with the flavor of Mediterranean cuisine, although it is originally from India, where it is usually consecrated to the deity of Vishnu and is used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine, along with the very similar holy basil or tulsi.
It was brought to Europe by the Greeks and already in ancient Rome it was used to relieve gas. It is also an irreplaceable ingredient in the rich Thai and Vietnamese cuisine.
Basil is traditionally planted on balconies and windows in town houses and, according to Font i Quer, it was believed that placing snail shells in the pot helped to vivify it. In addition to its culinary use, it is known for its effectiveness as an insect repellent and its healing properties.
For this purpose the leaves and flowers are used. It is used fresh in the kitchen, dried for infusion and, in external use, in maceration, compresses, lotions, shampoos and as an essential oil. Growing and caring for a basil plant at home is becoming more and more common. Although it is easy to plant it, it is found in pots at most florists.
Basil is a shrub that can reach 60 cm to 1 meter in height with innumerable wide and highly aromatic leaves, which are widely used in Italian cuisine. The plant has small flowers that can be lilac, white or red.
health benefits of basil are:
- Helps in treating cough and phlegm
- In the process of wound healing
- Stomach problems
- Lack of appetite
- Sore throat
How to consume
The parts used of basil are its leaves and stems, to season potato omelettes, meat soup, fish, chicken, salads, fillings, to prepare sauces, as well as in sweets and liqueurs. Basil is perfectly combined with dishes that include tomato, olive oil, lemon, red meat, pasta and cheeses.
1. Pesto Sauce Recipe
Pesto sauce is one of the most widely used and easiest Italian sauces to make at home. It can be used in pasta, on pizzas and with ricotta cheese to make an appetizer, for example.
- 1 bunch of fresh basil
- 50g of almonds, walnuts or pine nuts
- 50g parmesan
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 cup of hot water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
Blend all the ingredients in the blender and reserve in a jar in the refrigerator for 4 or 5 days maximum, otherwise it can be frozen in small quantities and used little by little.