Basil

General Description/History

  • most varieties are easy to grow over the summer months in the garden or in pots
  • considered the ‘King of Herbs’ by many cooking experts, and the name reflects this as it is derived from the Greek word for ‘king’
  • thought to have been used in medicines reserved for royalty only
  • can be stored in the fridge for several days in a sealed plastic bag, or can be frozen, providing it is blanched first (steamed for 1 to 2 minutes)

Choose basil with fresh looking leaves and stems with no signs of yellowing or damage.

Tear leaves rather than cutting. Add at the last minute to cooked dishes. Sprinkle over salads and sliced tomatoes. Basil’s rich pungent flavour compliments garlic. Use in pesto sauce and Mediterranean dishes, and to flavour blended vinegars. Use whole leaves and flowers as a garnish.

Basil needs well drained soil high in organic matter. A perennial herb which grows in a warm, sunny climate free from wind, frost and scorching sun.

A native of India, basil is held in reverence and is used by Indians to swear their oaths in court. Basil has been cultivated in Europe for some two thousand years for both medicinal and culinary uses.

Nutritional Value:

A good source of vitamin C and dietary fibre.

Storage/Handling:

0°C and 90 -100% relative humidity. Keep covered and away from refrigeration fans.

Consumer Storage: Store in an airtight plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper.

Season: 

Botanical Name: Ocimum basilicum (Labiatae)

Alternative Names: 

Availablity: 

Growing Areas: 

QLD – Atherton, Brisbane Outer Suburbs, Bundaberg
NSW – North Coast
VIC – Melbourne Metropolitan Area, Werribee
SA – Adelaide Hills, Adelaide Plains
WA – Perth Metropolitan Outer Areas
NT – Darwin, Katherine