Basil is truly an incredible herb. Basil is native to India and Asia, having been cultivated there for more than 5,000 years. It is enjoyed for it's rich and spicy, mildly peppery flavor with a trace of mint and clove. Basil is an annual herb belonging to the mint family, with foliage that is easily bruised; just brushing against it's wonderfully spicy fragrance.
Each variety of basil can add an accent to a garden. Bring the wonderful fragrance of basil indoors by incorporating them in potpourris, sachets, and dried winter bouquets. Crush, chip or mince the leaves and add to recipes, or add whole leaves to salads, as fresh leaves can be used cooked or raw. Springs of basil make a wonderfully aromatic garnish. The flowers are beautiful, edible and also make unique garnish. Used traditionally in Italian, Mediterranean and Thai cooking, it is superb with veal, lamb, fish, poultry, white beans, pasta, rice, tomatoes, cheese and eggs. It blends well with garlic, thyme and lemon. Basil adds zip to mild vegetables like zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, parsnips, spinach and to the soups and sauces in which these vegetables appear.