Basil is Tulsi. We all know this and yet we fail to understand why the basil in pizza and pasta looks and tastes so different.
Time to clear the confusion! The basil in pizza and pasta is the sweet basil variety. Plants have varieties and basil is no different. The ones that we find in Italian dishes are large in size, glossy, even edged and exude a strong yet pleasant aromatic fragrance.
When I planted my own Sweet Basil I had no idea it would be so aromatic. You touch the leaf and your fingers smell basil. The wind blows the plant and you get a whiff of basil. You spray the plant with water and there is basil in the air.
And the taste? You will be short of words to describe it. Sprinkle a little and tingle a lot of taste buds. Wish to add a kick to your dishes? Throw in some basil. Simple becomes exotic.
These aromatic herbs are not only tasty but also carry a whole lot of nutrition.
Consider these: anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, anti-bacterial, antioxidant.
It’s a storehouse of vitamins and minerals. The dominant ones happen to be vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron.
So how do you use this herb? Both fresh and in the dried form. You must have often seen jars full of dried basil on grocery store shelves. When you have your own plant you can use the fresh leaves and have a stock of dried basil too.
How to get dry basil? It’s easy. Take the desired amount, fill it in a paper bag, close it and put it in your fridge. Place it in a corner where you will not be seeing it. Forget it for a month or so. When you take it out the leaves will be dry and crisp but retain their aroma. Crush the leaves and store them in a jar.
Ideas to include basil in dishes:
Cheese sandwiches flavoured with basil – Tear fresh basil leaves and throw them over the grated cheese. Sprinkle some pepper powder and toast. A simple cheese sandwich is transformed into a tongue tingling cheesy basil sandwich. Name too sounds appetizing!
Salad – Combine all your salad ingredients. In the end take a couple of fresh leaves and tear them into small pieces. Add them to the bowl of salad ingredients, add the seasoning and give the bowl a good toss. The hint of basil is heavenly.
Pizza – A simple cheese pizza can become a basil pizza with the addition of fresh basil leaves added as topping. Spread the sauce, lay the grated cheese and top it off with
basil leaves. You can smell the basil while the pizza bakes in the oven.
Pasta – Cheese pasta or red sauce; dry basil or fresh leaves. Whichever one you opt for basil can be easily incorporated into all your pasta recipes.
Get multiple plants out of one.
With so many uses one basil plant may not suffice.
If you have a basil plant you can get many more out of that one plant. All you need to do is cut a stalk, put it in a glass of water and wait.
Around ten days later you will see roots coming out of the stalks. As you can see at the base of the stalks in this image.
These are then ready to be planted as new plants. Create multiple plants for yourself or gift them to friends.