This ‘king of herbs’ is an amazingly aromatic cooking annual. It grows to about 15cm tall and although it does better in summer sun it will provide all year. It dries well but I would avoid freezing it as it doesn’t hold up well.
I use it in salads, pasta, pizzas, pesto, soups and stocks. See the links at the bottom of the page for some yummy recipe suggestions.
It has a mild white pepper taste at first and then bursts into a powerful grassy flavour. You know when you are smelling basil it is so unique (it is grassy, savoury with hints of citrus). Rub the leaves and the oils easily impart this smell that lasts for ages 🙂 .
Please see the link at the bottom of the page for when to grow this plant in my Grow It Perth calendar.
This herb can be tricky to grow during a cold Perth winter. Try and find a position that gets long periods of direct sun and well drained soil.
You can of course dry the leaves and basil actually freezes well.
I tried a method recently that I found on the internet. You put a large sprig of basil in a glass or vase of water and then cover with a plastic bag. It kept well for a week and could have gone longer.
It really works and I trimmed a few peices here or there as they drooped but got none of the drastic wilting and colour change I get leaving it in the fridge. On day 7 I cooked lasagna and broccoli pasta with it.
Note: I put the bag back on after I photographed it each morning.
Check out some of the dishes I use them in and some more herbs and spices: