£1.30 – £8.50
Dried Organic Basil
Product of: Egypt
Net Weight: 25g / 100g / 250g / 500g
A versatile and widely used aromatic herb. Basil is an annual plant that is easy to grow from seed but is very sensitive to cold. The plant grows well in warm climates and is widely used throughout southern Europe, particularly the Mediterranean, and in many parts of Asia. There are numerous species of basil; some have scents reminiscent of pineapple, lemon, cinnamon or cloves; others have beautiful purple leaves. The variety called holy basil (tulsi) is an essential part of an authentic Thai curry. In Mediterranean regions, basil and tomato is a classic combination. Pesto, made from basil leaves and pine nuts, with parmesan or pecorino cheese and olive oil (traditionally pounded together in a mortar and pestle – the latter lends pesto its name) is another classic dish.
Basil is one of the great culinary herbs. Many Italian recipes contain basil. It has been grown for many thousands of years all over the tropical zones.
Basil was first mentioned in English writing in the mid-seventeenth century and in American literature about 100 years later. Basil is considered sacred in the Hindu cultures, believed by many to be a favourite of their gods. In some cultures, basil is a sign of love and devotion between young couples.
Basil is a powerful herb with a fragrant aroma and adaptable taste. Its pleasant taste will allow you to add it to many recipes as a pleasant accent. The herb is generally is not found in recipes originating in Northern European countries and Northern France. This herb is a key ingredient in tomato sauces and pesto recipes. A favourite use of pesto in French cooking is in soups. Italians favour pesto mixed with olive oil and used as a sauce for spaghetti. Fresh pesto is always better than the store-bought version. Basil and tomatoes are a natural combination. Use this combination with Pizza. Another great recipe is to cut a crusty roll in half and add salt, olive oil, a few leaves of basil and slices of fresh tomatoes. Dress a tomato and mozzarella salad with shredded basil, salt and olive oil. Basil goes well with sweet peppers, fish dishes, meat dishes, wine-garlic sauces, chicken, in butter as a steak condiment, eggs, and shellfish. Fresh leaves are a great accoutrement to any salad, cheese or stuffing recipe.
“How long do dried herbs last?”
Depends on both the type of herb and the conditions under which they are stored. Correctly dried and stored herbs, do not actually spoil. But over time, they will lose their potency, aroma and flavour.
As a general rule, whole dried herbs (not been ground) will last much longer than ground and can last for 1 to 3 years. It is also never a bad idea to freeze any spare herbs, try to remove as much air as possible and make sure it is kept sealed in the freezer to avoid moisture.
Here are some tips for maximising the shelf life of your herbs:
• Store in an airtight container.
• Store in a cool, dark cupboard.
• Store away from direct heat or sunlight.
• Keep lid tightly closed when not in use.