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Recipes for Busy Moms Recipes for Busy Moms

Ingredient of the Week April 10: Basil

Posted by on Apr. 10, 2011 at 7:47 PM
  • 10 Replies

 

Basil is most commonly associated with Italian and Thai Cuisine. It's not commonly known that basil originated in India. it was held in great admiration and was actually used in courtrooms to have the Indians swear their oaths upon.  It was brought to the Mediterranean via the spice routes in ancient times.  Basil spread to other parts of Asia, and became popular in the use of curries in Thailand.
In ancient Rome, the name Basilescus, referred to Basilisk - the fire breathing dragon thought to be the charm against the beast.  Perhaps the ancient Romans were onto something as today basil is used as an antidote to venom.
The Greek word for basil means royal or kingly. It was believed that only the king himself should harvest this herb, and only with the use of a golden sickle. Basil was also used by the Greek and English royalty for their baths, and medicine. Hence why the word basil is still referred to as "the king of herbs" from world-renowned chefs.

 

In Romania, basil took a more romantic turn. When a man accepts a sprig of basil from a woman,, he is officially engaged. When an Italian suitor wanted to show his love he would place a sprig of basil in his hair to win his hearts desire. It's the same in Mexico where people would keep basil in their pockets in hopes that the man or woman that they loved would return their love forever.

And the Italians became world renowned culinary experts using basil to give unique and erotic flavors to food.

Do you like basil? How do you use it in cooking? Do you grow it?

 

 

by on Apr. 10, 2011 at 7:47 PM
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Replies (1-10):
epoh
by on Apr. 10, 2011 at 8:00 PM
I love basil :) I use it in a lot of soups and of course, pasta sauce! I'm no great shakes at Growing it myself but I do buy a basil plant each year and I'm able to keep it alive until fall.
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Kimberly954
by on Apr. 10, 2011 at 8:04 PM

I love it in my spaghetti sauce and I also put it in salad dressing.

gs_gypsy
by on Apr. 10, 2011 at 8:43 PM

I love basil! I don't grow it because I have absolutely no luck with plants. I'm not a big fan of tomatoes so when I cook spaghetti noodles I eat them with a little butter and basil.

periwinkle163
by on Apr. 10, 2011 at 9:07 PM

 I love Basil, it's my favorite spice in spaghetti sauce.

KaylaMillar
by Kayla on Apr. 11, 2011 at 10:00 AM

 i love basil.  I use it in spaghetti and lasagna sauce. 

MooreMagnets
by on Apr. 11, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Yummm ... LOVE basil!

I LOVE making pesto when the basil plants are really producing and need picking. 

But, when I only have a few leaves to use - I love making a little basil snack!  Just a slice of fresh tomato, a bit of mozzarella cheese, a basil leaf (fresh), and a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar - tasty indeed!

MyHealthyTribe
by on Apr. 11, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Definately - fresh tomato, mozzarella cheese, a fresh basil leaf  chopped, and a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar - the best!

SweetLuci
by Luci on Apr. 15, 2011 at 12:02 PM

 Do You grow basil, or buy it fresh and can't use it all at once? You can freeze it. Remove all the  leaves from the stems. Wash and thoroughly dry. Lay a length of wax paper, about 3', on the counter. Spread the basil leaves on the paper in a single layer, leaving the last foot of paper empty. Now begin slowly rolling the paper up from the filled end. It's important that the leaves stay in a single layer, so be careful. Roll the last foot up to seal the package. Put the roll in a plastic bag and then store in the freezer, When you need it to cook with, simply unroll enough to expose a few leaves, roll the paper back up and return to the freezer. Much better than using dried basil.

SweetLuci
by Luci on Apr. 15, 2011 at 12:03 PM

 How do you keep pesto green? Lemon is the answer. You can put lemon juice on the basil before you chop it. Also mixing in other herbs, like flat-leaf parsley or cilantro will help, because they don't brown when cut. Mixing it with pasta? It will also help to put a little lemon juice in the pasta cooking water.

delanna6two
by Ruby Member on Apr. 15, 2011 at 12:25 PM

I've not used basil before....just now getting used to some of the seasonings since I can't use as much salt/Lawry's as I used to.

***enjoyed the article though.....maybe I'll put a sprig of "basil" under dh pillow tonight.."wink"...lol

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