Basil is one of the best complements to recipes with tomatoes. It is also the perfect partner to garlic, olives and onion. It can stimulate anyone’s appetite and help avoid having flatulence and this is also the other reason why it blends very well with recipes with garlic. The tea made of basil is also known to help alleviate nausea, stomach pains because of too much gas and dysentery. The basil leaves is the most important part of this plant to humans. The smaller stems are also useful but common cooking practice tells us to discard the thick stems or stalks. The thick stems have big veins which have some elements that may make a pesto become brown or darker in color.
In growing basil it is helpful to pinch the back part of the flowers to encourage the growth of the leaves. The flowers of the Basil can also be used as an ingredient. The other herbs in some recipes may overpower the smell and the flavor of the basil however oregano works well with basil. Other herbs you can usually combine with basil in recipes are sage and rosemary. Basil is usually added at the end of the cooking procedure for it to have a lasting and stronger flavor to the food. The longer it will stay with the heat the more likely the oils of the leaves will dissipate. Some common recipes used with basil around the world are the following:
1.Pistou which is a typical food in the Mediterranean countries has basil as a key ingredient and it is grounded with some garlic and some olive oil. It will become a paste.
2.The basil paste is also added some cheese and some pine nuts in Italy. Pistou and Pesto are words that mean to pulverize. Many Italians like using young fresh leaves for their pesto. This paste can also be frozen quickly and it is better to add the cheese later if it will be frozen.
3.Pesto can also be used as a topping for pastas. The reactions between the flour of the pasta and the oils of the basil have a good reaction causing some brownish color. It is also best to put some lemon juice on the water where you cook the pasta if you intend to put the pesto later. This will prevent the pasta to become darker in color.
4.Basil is also a key ingredient in the liquor known as Chartreuse.
5.The flavor of the fresh basil is not the same as the dried you can buy in many groceries however if you really cannot find enough fresh basil you can use one teaspoon of dried basil to the tablespoon of chopped basil you usually use. This means that you have to triple the quantity of the dried basil if you will substitute it with the fresh ones.