Today, “royal grass”, as basil is also called, is most often associated with Mediterranean cuisine, and the Italians and French are especially fond of its sweet and fragrant fragrance.
But in our kitchen he is given a decent place!
Basil is a herb with a strong spicy aroma and an astringent, slightly bitter taste. India is considered the birthplace of the basilica.
Basil is green or «opal» (purple). In Europe, green is popular, which is grown in the Mediterranean countries — France, Italy, Morocco and Egypt.
In Russia, Georgian purple basil is most commonly sold — it is a bit coarser than green to taste.
In Latin, basil is called Ocimum basilicum: the generic name of basil (ocimum) — derived from Greek osme (smell), and species (basilicum) goes back to greek basilikos (royal).
But the Arabs call this grass raihan (and in Russia, basil often bears the name “Reagan” or “Raykhon”).
Basil is useful not only in a gastronomic sense.
Basil compresses and baths help with redness and eye strain after long driving at night or working at a computer (the infusion needs to be made only from fresh leaves).
There are about types of basil, many of them edible.
Each species has several varieties that differ from one another not only in color, but also in a wide range of flavors — from bitter pepper to sweetish vanilla.
A plant that is familiar to European culinary specialists, botanists know how sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum).
In its wild form, it grows in Iran, India, China and some other eastern countries.
There are two main types of sweet basil — green and Violet (opal).
In each case, there are many varieties.
In Italy, numerous local varieties of green fragrant basil are prized, and the inhabitants of different regions claim that it is the basil from their area that is the best, and the rest is impossible to eat.
If you want to cook Italian pesto sauce (the most famous recipe with basil), you will definitely need green basil.
In Russia, Georgian violet basil is most often sold — it has a very strong odor, and its taste is slightly rougher than green.
The culinary also uses relatives of fragrant basil — lemon basil (Arab and Iranian cuisine, the cuisine of Thailand and neighboring countries), Thai basil (Thailand and neighboring countries).
Basil leaves tulasi (he multicolored basil and sacred ) valued in India and Thailand; in Thailand it is called caphrao and cook with it a dish phat kaphrao — fried basil with meat or seafood, served with cooked rice.
Today, “royal grass” is most often associated with Mediterranean cuisine, the Italians and French people love its sweet and fragrant fragrance — basil is perfectly combined with other herbs and spices, especially thyme, garlic, oregano and lemon, and therefore is included in almost all spicy blends Italian and French cuisine.
In combination with rosemary, basil acquires a peppery smell, and if you mix basil with savory, it will increase the sharpness of the dish.
With basil they prepare aromatic vegetable oil and vinegar.
Spicy aroma of fresh or dried basil transforms any, the simplest vegetable salad and egg dishes, it is in perfect harmony with eggplants, tomatoes, sweet peppers, beans and any fish.
With basil salt and pickle cucumbers, zucchini, squash, porcini, is an excellent seasoning for stews, chicken, fish and cheese soups.
Crushed dried leaves of basil improve the taste of sausages, dill, pastes.
Without basil, pesto sauce, pizza margherita, caprese salad are impossible.
Basil is added to hot dishes only at the last minute, as its delicate aroma disappears with a long heat treatment.
Basil competes with mint for use in sweet dishes — in baking, desserts — as well as in soft drinks.
The season of the unpaved basil lasts from July to early September.
From the Caucasus and from Central Asia, soil basil can be brought from May-June until late autumn.
In the supermarket, basil is sold all year round.
You need to choose fresh twigs with a characteristic smell and rich purple or green leaves.
Leaves should not be damaged.
Basil is often sold in a pot with soil.
It is stored a little longer than the cut.
To keep the basil fresh as long as possible, leave it in a container with water.
If you are not going to use basil immediately, it is better to dry it. Spread the leaves on paper and dry for a week in a shaded area with good ventilation.
Dried leaves should be stored in a sealed package in a dry, cool and dark place.
So it can be stored for up to 6 months.
It is undesirable to store basil in metal or plastic dishes.
Basil retains its composition and aroma well when salted. To do this, the shoots should be washed, dried, cut into pieces up to 1 cm in size and folded, sprinkled with salt, into sterilized glass jars.
Store salted basil must be in the refrigerator.
Of course, the most famous basil sauce is Genoese pesto. Ideally for its preparation.
Do you know what is the main, and perhaps the only, lack of basil? Its fragility.
Main dishes with basil are present in many national cuisines. In European cuisine use.
Perhaps only mint can compete with basil in frequency of use in desserts. .
Believe me, basil soup is always fresh and tasty! By tradition, basil is also added to.
Caprese is one of the easiest Italian salads. The classic recipe for caprese suggests.
Pesto sauce has come into our culinary life along with fashion in Italian cuisine and according to.
The most «promoted» salad with basil — the so-called «caprese»,.