Fresh Clips: Bring on the Basil

A cook can never have too many basils. Here are two intriguing new types to add to your culinary palette.

| December/January 2009

  • 'Serata' basil

'Queenette’, one of the most aromatic and flavorful Thai basils, tastes like a combination of cloves and mint (some describe its flavor as anise-like). Use the half-inch leaves to flavor Vietnamese and Thai dishes, such as curries, marinades or stir-fries. Even if you don’t cook much, you’ll love the look of its striking purple stems and flowers in your garden.

‘Serata’ basil has bright, chartreuse green leaves with an unusual serrated edge. Use the showy sprigs in bouquets or as a pretty garnish. The leaves’ classic flavor complements most any garden-fresh vegetable.

‘Queenette’ basil is sold by Renee’s Garden Seeds; (888) 880-7228; (also available at retail outlets). ‘Serata’ basil is sold by Johnny’s Selected Seeds; (877) 564-6697;

Robin Siktberg is horticulturist and editor for the Herb Society of America ( ).

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