Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is an annual plant with light green, shiny leaves. Basil bush grows up to even 60cm tall. The place of origin is not so certain – it is said that basil is originally native to Central Africa or Asia (India or Persia). Known in ancient Mediterranean regions of Europe. The word ‘basil’ come from Greek (basileus) meaning “king”.
Basil improves appetite and is good for digestion. It is used for various stomach diseases and is known for its demulcent and antibacterial properties. It is said that basil helps to improve mood, mental clarity and gives the strength.
Basil is commonly used for cooking, with its sweet and little bit spicy flavour. Fresh leaves and stems are used for salads, they are excellent for stewed vegetables and soups, giving the dish fresh taste and flavour. Dried basil is perfect for roasting meats and fishes. Basil is very popular in Mediterranean cuisines, especially in Italy. And Italy is the place where pesto comes from – the essence of basil.
Basil likes… a tomato – slice tomatoes and decorate it with fresh leaves richly to get a simple and delicious snack or appetiser. You can enrich its flavour, when you add a bit of salt, pepper, garlic and olive oil.