Basil is a fragrant spice that almost arouses awe at the residents of the southeastern states (India itself) and is almost unknown to the Russian people. Of course, this grass is also used in our area, but not as often as in the south.
By the way, in the places of growing basil is widely used not only in cooking, but also in medicine. True, the healing properties of the eastern «seasoning» is another story …
If we talk about the wild basilica, it grows in Africa, Southeast Asia and Central America.
But as a garden pet, basil is grown in the Caucasus and in temperate latitudes — for example, in central Russia (in greenhouses).
However, despite this, many Russians either do not know what basil is and what it looks like, or use it as part of Provencal herbs, but they still do not know what it looks like.
By the way, basil is growing so actively that enterprising farmers harvest it twice a year: in summer in dry weather and in autumn.
There are two sure ways to preserve basil leaves for a long time: drying and salting.
Dry basil should be in a well-ventilated warm place.
At the same time the direct rays of the sun should not fall on the grass, and the air temperature should be below 35 ° C. Clean leaves together with the stems are laid out on a flat surface in a single layer and dried to a state where the leaves and flowers begin to rub into the powder easily with your fingers.
After that, the basil powder is poured into a glass container and very tightly closed with a lid.
Important: dried basil retains its natural color when properly prepared.
Basil is salted in the following way: clean leaves and the thinnest twigs are crushed and mixed with salt in the ratio of 5: 1, then all this is “packed” into sterile glass containers and tightly closed.
Regarding the composition of this wonderful herb, I want to say: «Everything is here.»
And all because the essential oil of basil is a real pantry of beneficial substances.
It includes: eugenol, linalool, camphor and other fragrances that positively affect the human respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
In addition to the essential oil in the basil there is a mass of saponins, minerals, tannins, glycosides, vegetable fats, simple sugars, phytoncides and, of course, vitamins (in particular A and C).
At the same time, we can safely say that scientists still know far from all about the chemical composition of basilica.
Spicy splendor of smell and taste is recognized not only by ordinary cooks in their own kitchens, but also by the owners of large factories working in the food industry.
In particular, basil is actively used for the production of canned food, all kinds of sausages and marinades (tomatoes are especially tasty).
Well, we can add this spice to soups, salads, pies, pizzas, meat pies and other dishes.
In addition, basil is excellent with meat and fish.
The most resourceful cooks use basil seeds to enhance the taste and aroma of some soft drinks (for example, tea).
Despite the fact that basil is good in itself, it is often used in conjunction with other spices (mint, parsley, thyme, rosemary, etc.).
Among such spice mixes is seasoning «Provencal herbs», which is mentioned above.
I do not claim to be a missionary, carrying culinary light and spicy knowledge. However, I would like to hope that thanks to this article, basil will still appear in your kitchen and take its place of honor there …