Not only pesto and pasta with tomato: basil can be used in many different ways, from aromatic oil to herbal teas, passing through many fragrant summer recipes!
The basil, like parsley, it is one of those aromatic herbs that is good for all dishes.
The term basil derives from the Greek basilikon and means "regal". This plant, in fact, is considered very precious since ancient times for its innumerable properties.
In ancient Egypt properties attributed to memory and concentration were attributed to him, so much so that in the library of Alexandria in Egypt it was customary to place basil seedlings on the benches to favor the concentration of scholars.
The basil plant
The basil plant is native to Asia and is cultivated all over the world. It is a plant with a rich stem of branches that end with oval shaped leaves and white flowers. Depending on the variety, basil leaves can be small or large. For the famous Genoese pesto the smaller leaves are used. It can withstand even in a vase outside the terrace, the important thing is that it has room to grow the roots. When the plant grows, the pot must be changed.
It is important to keep it in the sun and wet the earth only after sunset. The flowering tops should always be eliminated to allow the plant to regenerate.
Properties of basil
Basil has discreet stimulating and exciting properties.
Promotes digestion and is also a natural remedy for bad breath. Fresh consumed leaves are effective in cases of nausea and abdominal cramps.
Finally, basil is a natural remedy that can fight gout.
How to use basil in the kitchen
Basil, as we well know, is the basic ingredient of Genoese pesto which is prepared by pounding the fresh basil leaves, parmesan, pine nuts and garlic (optional) together with a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil . But basil is also that touch of flavor and color more on margherita pizza and classic tomato pasta.
With basil, many typical summer salads such as caprese and fruit salads can also be flavored. It is very good in combination with strawberries and pineapple.
You can keep the basil leaves in the freezer for many months after washing them to dry very well. Put them in the silver foil or whisk them with a little oil and place the mixture in the ice-trays. Simply melt a cube in the sauce or in a vegetable and legume soup to flavor them.
Here are the recipes of La Cucina Italiana with basil