“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others,
faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
I Peter 4:10
Today was the May Herb Seminar at Full Moon Natives & Herbs - All About Basil - uses for culinary, tea, aroma, health and the language of herbs. Marvette was out of town, so I teamed up with Kevin Bagwell to share everything today!
2003 “Herb of the Year”
- Botanical name comes from Greek and means fragrant-lipped king - truly a “royal” herb in the culinary garden
- Origin in India, but integral part of the cuisine of Greece, France and Italy
- Full sun and temperatures above 60 degrees for best growth
- Essential to prune at the 6-leaf stage to promote bushier growth and harvest regularly during the season always leaving only four leaves.
VARIETIES: Over two dozen which are mostly annuals, the basils have leaves as small as a fingernail or as large as an open hand, colors from green to purple and a complete range of scents and flavors.
- Genovese basil - best for pesto is less likely to become bitter after long cooking in sauces
- Large Leaf basil - mild sweet flavor and large leaves that may be used in salads, wraps, or on sandwiches.
- Spicy Globe basil - windowsill container and its miniature leaves are preferred by many chefs
- Purple basil - purple leaves accents fruit salads, stir fry or salsa and adds a beautiful color to vinegars and oils
- Lemon basil - strong lemon flavor to enhance chicken, seafood, scones and cookies.
- Cinnamon basil - cinnamon touch to fruit, marinates, jellies and chutney as well as making a great tea.
- Thai basil - ornamental as well as providing a strong licorice flavor for Asian cooking especially stir fry or fruit salads
Kevin, guest chef for the day, demonstrated recipes using several different basil varieties and everyone had the opportunity to taste these culinary delights: Rich & Creamy Tomato Soup served with Cheddar Crisps, Lemon Basil Potatoes and Succotash Salad.
These recipes and more are available online here.
Kevin wanted to make this Caprese salad, but Marvette took his homemade mozzarella cheese to North Carolina!
I shared the following cookies filled with a jelly made from cinnamon basil:
SPICE THUMBPRINTS: Mix 1c butter, 1/2c powdered sugar, 1tsp cinnamon and 1tsp vanilla until fluffy then add 1/8 tsp salt and 2 1/4c flour. Refrigerate for a hour. Roll dough into balls then place on greased cookie sheet and press centers with your thumb to make an indentation and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 mins. Cool and then fill with Cinna-Basil Jelly.
CINNA-BASIL JELLY: Bring 2 1/4c water to a boil, pour over 1 1/2c cinnamon basil leaves and steep 30 mins. Strain and return to pan, add 3 1/2c sugar and 3Tbs lemon juice. Boil until sugar dissolves, stir in 3oz liquid pectin and boil 1 minute. Cool slightly, skim off foam, and pour into jars and water-process for 10 mins.
FRIENDSHIP POTPOURRI: A thoughtful gift that sends to a message through the language of herbs
1c Roses for Love
1/2c Lavender for Devotion
1/2c Calendula for Good Health
1Tbs Basil for Best Wishes
1Tbs Marjoram for Joy & Happiness
1Tbs Rosemary for Remembrance
1Tbs Catnip for Good Luck
1Tbs Mint for Virtue
BASIL SALT SCRUB
1Tbs coarse sea salt
1Tbs Epsom salt
1Tbs olive oil
1Tbs fresh or dried basil
This salt scrub combines exfoliation, moisturizing and light massage, plus the benefits of sea salt to open pores, Epsom salt to pull toxins and restore magnesium and basil to relieve muscular aches and joint pains.
To use: Shower or bathe then apply scrub all over your body and relax for 10-15 mins. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
BUSY DAY SOUP MIX: Layer an assortment of peas and lentils in a jar with a bay leaf plus 1tsp basil, 1/2tsp sage and 1/2tsp oregano plus the following directions:
Combine mix with 3 sliced carrots, 2 chopped celery stalks, 1 chopped onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1-14oz can diced tomatoes, 2Tbs red wine vinegar, 2Tbs olive oil and 6c vegetable or chicken stalk in a crockpot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours until peas & lentils become very creamy and soft. Remove bay leaf and season to taste before serving. OPTIONAL: add 2c chopped ham.
Additional information and recipes can also be found on this earlier post on BASIL.