Sweet basil is the most common type of basil found in many Italian dishes. This herb is practically used to release a flavorful aroma of the dish, as well as improve its taste. Although cooking with sweet basil is commonly associated with Italian cuisine, sweet basil has been also extensively used in home cooking.
Uses of Sweet Basil
Sweet basil is primarily used for its pungent aroma, which does wonderfully in sauces, soups, and salads. Pizza and pasta are also cooked with the leaves of sweet basil and is a great combination with cheeses and spices. French cuisine also applauds the benefits of cooking with sweet basil, as it is often done in omelets and soups. For industrial uses, sweet basil is also used as a flavoring in manufactured vinaigrettes, pickles, canned goods and baked delights.
Tips on Cooking with Sweet Basil
Cooking with sweet basil can certainly transform an ordinary dish into a vibrant and flavorful one. Its strong and pungent taste can be detected even in small amounts, which is why it adds beautifully to the dish’s ordinary flavor. Now here are some tips when cooking with sweet basil:
Although sweet basil is a necessary ingredient in Italian dishes such as pizza and pasta, it is also highly recommended that crushed sweet basil is applied on your ordinary baked chicken, fish or lamb. The herb is also great with sauces and soups when sprinkled before serving. Sweet basil does wonderfully with help of garlic, fresh oregano and thyme.
The leaves of the plant are the most important when cooking with sweet basil. Stems and stalks must be set side because of their bitter taste. Sweet basil also tones down the garlic taste in the dish, and is also known to remove garlic breath right after eating.
Cooking with sweet basil also includes sprinkling the crushed basil at the end of the cooking process to top off the flavorful dish.
Pesto is an excellent example of the wonders of cooking with basil. Pesto is basically a puree of tomatoes, basil, walnuts, red wine vinegar, garlic, olive oil and chili paste. When serving pesto with homemade pasta, it is better to squeeze some lemon over the pasta’s boiling water to avoid dark colors on the pasta.
Cooking with sweet basil involves experimenting with your average dish to transform it into a fresher recipe that everyone loves. Just remember to add a little bit of basil to this and that and you have your own version of a homemade, country-style European cooking.