A few quick tips for storing basil

Basil has a tendency to die very quickly so extending it’s life is quite useful.

The easiest way is to store basil is to keep the roots in water, this will extend its life quite considerably. You could also place a plastic bag over the leaves and secure them to the glass or jug of water with an elastic band creating a green house effect. Your basil will keep perfectly for a week in the fridge,

Another method for storing basil is to take the stalks that you are not using, break them up and store them in a jar with olive oil. .You will have some nicely flavoured basil olive oil at your disposal.

A third option for storing basil  is to buy a pot of basil and place it in some sunlight and keep it topped up with water.

Finally for picked basil wrap it up in some cling film and refrigerate, making sure there is no moisture otherwise it will go mouldy.

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A little wiki about basil

Basil, or Sweet Basil, is sometimes also known as Saint Joseph’s Wort in some English-speaking countries. It’s originally native to India and other tropical regions of Asia, having been cultivated there for more than 5,000 years.

It is a half-hardy annual plant, best known as a culinary herb prominently featured in Italian cuisine, and also plays a major role in the North East Asian cuisine of Taiwan and the South East Asian cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Depending on the species and cultivar, the leaves may taste somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent, often sweet smell.

There are many varieties of Basil, as well as several related species or species hybrids also called basil. The type used in Italian food is typically called sweet basil, as opposed to Thai basil  and holy basil, which are used in Asia. While most common varieties of basil are treated as annuals, some are perennial in warm, tropical climates, including holy basil and a cultivar known as ‘African Blue’.

Basil is commonly used fresh in cooked recipes. In general, it is added at the last moment, as cooking quickly destroys the flavour. The dried herb also loses most of its flavour, and what little flavour remains tastes very different, with a weak coumarin flavour, like hay.

Basil is one of the main ingredients in pesto, a green Italian oil and herb sauce. Its other main ingredients are olive oil, garlic, and pine nuts.

The most commonly used Mediterranean basil cultivars are “Genovese”, “Purple Ruffles”, “Mammoth”, “Cinnamon”, “Lemon”, “Globe”, and “African Blue”. The Chinese also use fresh or dried basils in soups and other foods. In Taiwan, people add fresh basil leaves to thick soups. They also eat fried chicken with deep-fried basil leaves. Basil (most commonly Thai basil) is commonly steeped in cream or milk to create an interesting flavour in ice cream or chocolates, such as truffles. The leaves are not the only part of basil used in culinary applications, the flower buds have a more subtle flavour and they are edible.