Basil is one of our favourite herbs to grow because it adds flavour and beauty to our garden and cooking. There are more than 40 varieties of this fragrant and versatile herb available, but we especially love the aromatic lush foliage of the sweet basil, which makes a delicious pesto! Basil is a great starter herb for little green thumbs as it is very low maintenance, quite forgiving and a prolific grower. They are sun-loving plants and should be grown close to your kitchen so you can have a constant supply of fresh produce at your fingertips for all manner of family dishes. Plus basil will thrive when it’s pruned regularly.
We planted our basil next to our tomato plants as not only are they great mates in cooking but when paired together in the garden they share nutrients under the soil that improves their flavour and the basil aroma helps to lure bugs and grubs away from your tomatoes. So enough talk, let’s get growing!
What to do if you can’t use up all of your home-grown basil fast enough? Make pesto of course! This recipe is a delicious accompaniment to pasta, roast vegies, pizza and sandwiches.
2 cups of fresh basil
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Basil is far from being just a means for flavour and can actually enrich your diet with lots of nutrients. It is a source of vitamins C, E and K, magnesium, folate and antioxidants. Plus, it has antibacterial properties and can even help to reduce excess inflammation in the body.