Our summer boxes might include a tasty variety of basil typically referred to as “Sweet Basil.” This term comes from the ancient Greek term okimon basilikos meaning royal basil. The Greeks referred to sweet basil as “The Herb of Kings.”
Basil has played an interesting role in many cultures. In Romania when a man accepted a sprig of basil from a woman it meant that they were officially engaged for marriage.
Basil is widely grown for both ornamental, medicinal and culinary uses. Like many herbs, basil has many reputed medicinal properties, such as the ability to draw out poison from insect bites, as a sedative, for treating digestive disorders, soothing pain, promoting perspiration, and promoting production of breast milk in nursing mothers.
The origin of basil is speculated to be India. The herb is most commonly associated with Italian and Thai cuisine today.
Below is a delicious recipe that calls for fresh or dried Basil. Basil is very perishable and should be dried if you cannot use it quickly. To store wrap in plastic and keep refrigerated. To dry hang upside down in a dry place with moving air.
If you are in need of fresh basil and it is not included in your box feel free to add it to your order. It will be available on and off throughout the summer.
Here are a few easy ways to incorporate basil into your menu:
Chop and add to salads.
Add into bread before baking.
Cut a baguette down the center, drizzle with olive oil and lay basil leaves down each side. Broil on low until just browned.
Add into any pasta dish. Great served hot or cold.
Mix into soups.
Creamy Tortellini with Basil
1 lb. fresh tortellini
2 T. olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. Spinach
1 tomato, seeded and cubed
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped or 1 1/2 t. dried
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 cup cream or milk
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
Directions: Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic. Cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add spinach, tomato, basil, salt and pepper. Cook until the spinach is wilted down and tender about 5 minutes. Stir in cream and cheese. Like a little spice? Chop up a few sundried tomatoes and toss them in here for a bit of a kick. Cook until mixture just comes to a boil. Fold in the tortellini. Top with additional cheese if desired. Great served with a fresh Country Baguette.
“My health is the main capital I have and I want to administer it intelligently.“