Growing Basil: From Harvesting to Using

Discover the health benefits and many uses of growing basil.

| May/June 2014

  • Growing basil at home
    Sun-loving basil is easy to grow, provided it gets plenty of light.
    Photo by iStock

  • Growing basil at home

The savory, verdant flavor of basil is memorable: I still remember the first time I tasted it. It transformed an otherwise plain tomato salad into an extraordinary taste sensation. Thanks to that introduction to this amazing herb, the Italian restaurant serving up this little bit of heaven still stands out in my memory. Basil accompanies tomatoes beautifully—both in the garden and on the plate—and it’s the star in traditional pesto, but this aromatic and delicious plant has even more to offer than its striking flavor.

Recipes with Basil

Basil Butter recipe
Pineapple Basil Quinoa recipe

A Brief History of Basil

Most people associate basil with Italian cooking, so it may come as a surprise to learn that basil was first grown in India, East Asia and Africa. It has since spread throughout the world and plays a prominent role in Thai, Vietnamese and, of course, Italian cuisine.

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