In My Garden…Sweet Basil

In My Garden…Basil

BASIL

So I know I have been quiet for a while, but now I am back on track! This week we’re talking about Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum). I love using this in pastas, and of course you will know it’s the main ingredient in pesto. You can add lots of flavour to your cooking by using the fresh leaves.

Basil…

…blends well with Bergamot, Clary Sage, Geranium, Lavender, Melissa, Neroli and Rosemary

…odour intensity is high

…part of the plant which is used are the flowering tops and the leaves.

…extracted by means of steam distillation

 

–          Basil can be used as a general tonic for the nervous system, to calm gastric spasms, for general fatigue after illness and anxiety.

–          To repel mosquitoes, rub crushed leaves on the exposed areas of your skin.

 

Pesto recipe:

BASILR

Method:

1. Place the pine nuts into a non-stick pan and dry fry until lightly toasted. If you’re in a pinch for pine nuts, sunflower seeds can be your hero here.

2. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes to cool. Place the pine nuts, basil, garlic and parmesan in the bowl of a food processor and blend until finely chopped. You can also add your chilli here if you choose. With the processor still running, gradually add the oil in a thin steady stream until well combined.

3. Season with salt and pepper.

Basil pesto can be kept frozen for up to 4 months. Transfer half the pesto to a small airtight container and smooth the surface. Drizzle with olive oil to cover. Label, date and freeze. When you’re ready to welcome it back into your life, place in the fridge for 3-4 hours or until thawed. Don’t forget to stir it up before serving.

Sources:

‘A Guide to Green Housekeeping” by Christina Strutt

‘Secrets of youth & beauty’ by Daniéle Rymans

‘The Complete Aromatherapy Tutor’ by Joanne Hoare

Recipe: http://www.yuppiechef.co.za/spatula/basil-pesto/

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