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Basil - Ocymum basilicum

Basil - Ocymum basilicum


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Generalitа


Basil is one of the typical aromatic herbs that are part of the Mediterranean bouquet; originally the plant, Ocimum basilicum, comes from Asia, where it is still very consumed, but has a particular success in Italy, Greece and Spain, as in most of the countries of northern Africa. In fact, it is now one of the most widely used aromatic herbs in the world, especially for flavoring fresh tomatoes or tomato sauces; it is also widely used with vegetables, meat or fish, and is generally used alone, without adding other aromatic plants, to better enhance its aroma.

The plant


Basil is a small annual plant, easy to cultivate; it is also cultivated simply in the pots on the balcony or on the windowsill, in the summer months; the leaves can thus be harvested only when necessary. When the plant flowers and then begins to produce the seeds it is too late to use the leaves, which must be taken before flowering. The harvesting season can also be extended by several weeks, preventing the plant from flowering: topping off every single stem that begins to produce buds. Towards the end of the summer it is however good to take all the leaves, which must be kept in the freezer, frozen, otherwise they tend to lose most of their characteristic fragrance. Basil is also preserved in oil, producing a very fragrant and aromatic green oil.

How to use


The basil is used fresh, removing the leaves when necessary, whole or chopped; in winter we generally try to grow some plants inside the house, but the lack of sunshine tends to produce little luxuriant plants, for this reason we use frozen basil or basil oil.
These tender leaves cook very quickly, becoming black and unsightly; moreover the prolonged cooking of basil, in addition to dispersing most of its essential oils, tends to deteriorate its organoleptic characteristics: a very prolonged cooking even produces substances harmful to health.
For this reason, basil is generally used raw, in salads, or it is added to foods that are already cooked, still hot, but just before bringing the dishes to the table. In this way it is possible to enjoy all its properties.

How to use


Typical in Italy is the tomato sauce with basil: a simple tomato sauce, with the addition of onion or garlic, flavored just before dressing the pasta with some thinly cut basil leaves.
Another very typical recipe, which alone is worth cultivating basil, is pesto; the most famous is the pesto alla genovese, a completely basil based sauce, which is pounded in a mortar with pine nuts and a little salt, to which is added at the end of the grated cheese. There are many variations, such as Sicilian pesto, with the addition of tomato and pecorino; or the Susanna sauce, pesto, tomato sauce and fresh cream. In any case, the ingredient that gives more flavor and aroma is basil, whose intense and persistent aroma is enhanced by the warmth of the pasta and the sweet taste of the cheese.

Basil - Ocymum basilicum: Some recipes


Typical in Italy is the tomato sauce with basil: a simple tomato sauce, with the addition of onion or garlic, flavored just before dressing the pasta with some thinly cut basil leaves.
Another very typical recipe, which alone is worth cultivating basil, is pesto; the most famous is the pesto alla genovese, a completely basil based sauce, which is pounded in a mortar with pine nuts and a little salt, to which is added at the end of the grated cheese. There are many variations, such as Sicilian pesto, with the addition of tomato and pecorino; or the Susanna sauce, pesto, tomato sauce and fresh cream. In any case, the ingredient that gives more flavor and aroma is basil, whose intense and persistent aroma is enhanced by the warmth of the pasta and the sweet taste of the cheese.



Comments:

  1. Akikasa

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  2. Costi

    No, it doesn't take off!

  3. Trip

    This has amazed me.

  4. Aldo

    Indeed ?



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