Eating From Your Yard Tip: Basil, by Jill Kuhel

Eating from your yard tip ~ there are many basils with different tastes, colors of leaves and flowers. I have it on good authority from two elderly tipsy Italian women that purple opal basil is the key to a good marinara. Both the basil flowers and leaves are edible. A traditional basil pairing is tomato, mozzarella and basil drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Sara Zimbelman did a variation of that with cubed watermelon topped with a basil leaf and drizzled with a balsamic vinegar reduction ~ yummm! Another go to is of course pesto, which can be frozen to enjoy in the cold of winter. Try garnishing your pesto pasta with basil flowers for extra loveliness. Besides freezing pesto you can also easily hang basil to dry. Another option is to chop up basil and cover it with olive oil in an ice cube tray. Then put the frozen basil cubes in a zip lock bag for later use in cooking. Basil can also be used to flavor vinegar. Just cover the basil with vinegar in a jar and let it sit for four weeks then strain. Fresh basil leaves are a yummy addition to spring rolls too. I am fond of bruschetta and basil infused water both warm and cold. How do you eat your basil?

Jill Kuhel

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