Basil

Basil is an herb in the mint family. It adds flavor to meals, and its nutrients provide health benefits. For example, its oils and extracts are said to have antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Fragrant fresh basil, for instance, offers a healthy dose of blood-clotting vitamin K -- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil provide 27% of the RDA -- as well as vitamin A, manganese, and magnesium.

Storage

If your basil is bunched with stems, it will keep in  a vase or jar of water on the counter for several days. Otherwise, keep it dry in the fridge for several days in a ziploc plastic bag. If your basil is damp when you put it in the fridge, its leaves will turn black.

Cooking Tips

Basil, like most soft herbs, is usually best added just before serving. Cooking basil tends to dull its bright flavor. Slice basil leaves thinly and use them to top sliced tomatoes, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, pasta dishes, grain bowls, sauteed summer squash, green bean salads, and more. Of course, basil makes a wonderful pesto. We mix other herbs (like spinach,parsley, dill, or mint) into our pesto along with the basil; or we omit the cheese, and we add chopped sunflower seeds or walnuts. In the summer, pesto goes well on top of just about anything.

Recipes

Pesto

Caprese Panini with Pesto

Summer Squash Basil Soup

David Lebovitz’ Basil Vinaigrette

Grilled Eggplant & Whole Grain Salad

Sauteed Zucchini with Basil and Walnuts

Bean Salad with Basil and Feta

Rice Summer Vegetable Salad

BLT salad

Infused Tom Collins with Basil Simple Syrup

Vegan Cream of Basil Soup with Cucumber Corn Salad

Soupe Au Pistou (French Vegetable Soup)

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Ananda Gardens

2416 Horn of the Moon Rd, Montpelier, VT 05602   

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