Type: Amethyst Improved Purple Basil
Use: Consumed raw or cooked
Grown by: Horticulture Research Station
Short Term Storage: Fresh basil should be stored at room temperature. Trim the ends of the stems of the basil. Place them in a glass jar filled with cold water (much like a fresh flower bouquet). Place a plastic bag loosely (still allowing for ventilation) over the basil leaves at the top of the jar.
Long Term Storage: Basil leaves can be dried or frozen. To dry leaves, tie in bunches and hang indoors in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. Leaves should dry in 5-10 days. Leaves can also be dried in the oven. Set oven temperature to lowest possible setting. Place basil leaves on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in the oven with the door ajar to allow ventilation. Keep leaves in oven until brittle. If leaves turn brown, this means that they became too hot in the drying process and will not have flavor so should be discarded. Once leaves are dry, store them in an air tight container for up to 6 months. Basil can be frozen easily to preserve flavor and color. Chop basil leaves finely and combine with water making a paste. Pour paste into ice cube trays to store. Once the cubes are frozen solid, place them in plastic bag in fridge. Basil cubes can keep for up to 1 year. Alternatively, combine basil with oil (olive or vegetable) in a food processor to make a paste and pour paste into ice cube trays for later use.
Preparation: Wash leaves under cool running water to remove dirt and pat dry before cooking or eating.
Pairing: Basil is the most commonly used fresh herb. Its sweet but subtle flavor goes well with a wide range of foods. Basil pairs with tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini. It is the featured ingredient in a traditional pesto which goes well with breads and cheeses. Basil is diverse in that it is utilized in many different types of cuisine such as Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, and Italian cooking.
Nutrition: Basil is very low in calories and high in vitamin K.
Tomato Basil Bruschetta