Basil is a culinary herb found in many Italian and Asian recipes. Basil varieties include Sweet, Thai, Lemon, and Greek.
Basil is originally native to Iran, India and tropical regions of Asia. With sunlight and warm, dry conditions the herb can grow 30-130 cm in height. In the U.S., Basil has the best chance of survival and growth if planted during the late spring or summer months. Basil can be grown inside in a sun-lit window or outside. However, basil does not fare well in the cold and care should be taken to reduce exposure to cold drafts or frost.
There are several Basil pathogens that will ruin the growth and use of the herb. Fusarium wilt is fungal disease that is soil-borne and will kill young basil plants. Grey mold can also cause plant infections.
Basil has been shown to have positive health effects in humans. It is used as a supplement to treat stress, asthma and diabetes in India.
Popular Basil Recipe:
Tomato, Mozzarella & Basil Bruschetta
6 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 package of mozzarella cheese, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread
1/4 cup olive oil
Start by chopping the tomato and mozzarella into small, bite size pieces. Wash and dry the basil and chop.
Slice the baguette on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick slices. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil and minced garlic (combined) using...