Herbs Part 4
Basil. Basil, basil, basil. It is one of the most commonly used herbs next to parsley and oregano. Its aroma and flavor is strong, sweet and fresh making the perfect compliment in heavy pasta dishes. Basil has a deep history spanning 4,000+ years. Scholars seem to think it originated in India and travelled to the Middle East, first being recorded in ancient Egypt, and eventually on to Europe.
In India it was highly regarded and was used to swear oaths upon along with often being planted along temple walls and being laid out with the dead due to the protectant.
To the ancient Greeks, the word for basil, basileus, means king and there is a myth associated with the herb and a mythical creature with the head of a rooster and body of a dragon, Basilisk, and basil was the cure for its lethal bites.
Basil was originally associated with Mediterranean food and Indian food but is now more considered an Italian and Thai herb.
There are quite a few different varieties of basil, 31 to be exact. The most common basils used in modern times are sweet basil and Thai basil.
The main medicinal use for basil is as an anti-inflammatory and traditionally used for arthritis. Naturopathic doctors prescribe basil to treat diabetes, allergies, impotence, respiratory problems, and infertility. Basil is also high in antioxidants, has antibacterial properties, and basil is great for the immune system.
Today’s recipe will be an easy pesto sauce. Pair it with pizza, pasta, rice and any meat or seafood. It is fresh and simple, perfect for summer evenings!!
1/4c walnuts or pine nuts
4cloves of garlic, peeled
1 ½c fresh basil
1/2c olive oil
1pinch of nutmeg
1/4c grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Process all ingredients in a food processor until a coarse paste is formed or use a motar and pestle. Mix in grated parmesan last. Enjoy!!