Discover the Delicious Delights: How to Use Purple Basil in Your Cooking

Author:

Category:

Purple basil, a variant of the more commonly known sweet basil, is an herb that boasts not only a beautiful color but also unique and distinct flavors. With its deep purple leaves and stems, it adds striking visual interest to any dish. But how do you use purple basil? That's what we'll be exploring in this article.

Whether you're growing it in your garden or picking up some fresh at the farmer's market, there are countless ways to incorporate purple basil into your cooking. From using it as a garnish to infusing oils and vinegars with its flavor profile, there are many creative uses for this versatile herb. But don't just take our word for it—read on as we dive deeper into the world of purple basil.

If you're looking for new ways to add depth and complexity to your culinary creations or simply curious about how best to utilize this vibrant ingredient, look no further than our guide on how to use purple basil. We'll cover everything from traditional Italian dishes like pesto sauce made with a twist of this colorful herb all the way down through unexpected recipe ideas that will have you experimenting in the kitchen like never before!

How to Use Purple Basil: A Comprehensive Guide

If you're a fan of using herbs in your culinary creations, then you've likely come across purple basil. This striking herb not only adds a pop of color to dishes, but it also packs a punch in terms of flavor and health benefits. In this article, we'll explore everything there is to know about how to use purple basil.

What is Purple Basil?

Purple basil (Ocimum basilicum 'Purpurascens') is a variety of sweet basil that has deep purple leaves and stems. While it looks different from its green counterpart, it still has the same fragrant aroma and taste as regular sweet basil.

Using Purple Basil

  1. Culinary Uses

The most common way people use purple basil is by incorporating the leaves into their cooking or garnishing food with them for added flair.

Some popular culinary uses for purple basils include:

  • Pesto: Swap out the traditional green varieties with your own homemade version made with fresh purple basils.
  • Salads: Tear up some fresh leaves and toss them into salads for added color (and nutrition!).
  • Soups & Stews: Add chopped up leaves towards the end of cooking time for an extra burst of flavor.
  1. Medicinal Benefits

Aside from its delicious taste, there are many other reasons why you should incorporate more purple basils into your diet:

  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • High in antioxidants
  • Can help lower blood sugar levels
  • May reduce anxiety levels
  1. Growing Your Own

If you want access to fresh herbs year-round without having to constantly buy them at the grocery store, growing your own herbs are easier than ever before thanks Small indoor gardens like AeroGarden or Click & Grow make gardening indoors possible even if space is limited.

All varieties of sweet basils grow well indoors when given plenty sunlight and well-draining soil mix.

Comparing Purple Basil to Other Varieties

While purple basil is a unique herb, it can be compared to other varieties of sweet basil:

  • Green Basil: This is the most common variety you'll find in grocery stores and restaurants. It has a milder flavor than purple basils and pairs well with many dishes.
  • Thai Basil: This type of basil has smaller leaves than green basils and has a distinct licorice-like taste that works particularly well in Asian-inspired dishes.

Tips for Cooking with Purple Basil

Here are some tips on how to get the best out of your purple basil when cooking with it:

  • Use fresh leaves, not dried ones as they have more flavor
  • Add chopped up leaves towards the end of cooking time so they don't wilt or turn brown
  • Only add salt after adding herbs; salt can cause herbs to lose their flavorful oils.

In Conclusion

Purple basil is an excellent addition to any herb garden or kitchen pantry. Not only does it add color and flair to your culinary creations, but it also packs numerous health benefits too. By incorporating more purple basils into your diet, you're sure to impress both yourself and anyone who gets lucky enough try one of your delicious meals!

FAQs

What is Purple Basil and How Can It Be Used?

Purple basil is a variety of sweet basil with deep purple leaves. It has a slightly more intense flavor than its green counterpart, and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. This herb can be used fresh or dried, and makes for an excellent garnish due to its striking color.

To use purple basil in cooking, simply chop the leaves finely before adding them to your dish. This herb pairs well with tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, mozzarella cheese, beef tenderloin among other ingredients. Use it as a topping on pizza or pasta dishes like pesto; add it to salads for some added flavor; incorporate into soups such as chicken noodle soup or minestrone; mix chopped up leaves with butter or cream cheese for delicious spreads.

It is also important to note that while this herb does lose some color when cooked it still retains alot of flavour making it suitable not only as garnish but an integral part of the recipe.

How Do I Store Fresh Purple Basil?

Fresh purple basil should be stored like any other fresh herbs – being sensitive they require minimal handling after being harvested from the plant so don't wash them until you are ready to use them which will reduce their shelf life.

You should place freshly cut stems in water if possible similarily storing flowers keeping them hydrated prolongs freshness . You may cover loosely over your container using plastic wrap or paper towel which helps prevent moisture loss yet allows air circulation

Alternatively you could store bulkier herbs by wrapping moistened paper towels around each bunch (before placing into containers) then refrigerating unwrapped overnight at most allowing full dryness before covering tightly since excess moisture encourages mold growth.

Can I Dry My Own Purple Basil? If So How Do I Go About Doing That?

Yes! Dried herbs are perfect go-tos during those times you run out of fresh ones . The drying process can also extend the shelf life of your herbs up to a year when stored correctly .

To dry purple basil, begin by washing and thoroughly drying the leaves. You may then tie bunches together and hang them upside down in dry area away from sunlight with good air circulation.

If you prefer using appliances or running short on space, place leaves on racks positioned over baking sheets before placing into oven set at low temperature ( 90-100 degrees celsius). Leave oven door open slightly to allow moisture escape.

Once brittle remove , crumble into small pieces being careful not to crush too much since it will release flavor oils.

What Are Some Health Benefits of Consuming Purple Basil?

Purple basil is known for its high antioxidant content which help combat harmful molecules in the body termed free-radicals responsible for diseases such as cancer. It is also rich in vitamins A, C & K minerals such as iron calcium among others
Additionally consumption boosts general mood & cognitive function reducing anxiety symptoms thus making it a great addition to salads or soups

This herb has been used traditionally medicinally treating digestive problems , healing wounds;and more recently studies show promise regarding anti-diabetic properties

Can I Grow Purple Basil At Home? If So How Do I Go About Doing That?

Yes! Growing purple basil at home allows access anytime while saving costs buying fresh ones each time .Requiring minimal effort and maintenance this herb thrives well indoors or outdoors

To grow indoors start by selecting good drainage potting container filled with moist soil mix . Gently scatter seeds onto surface then cover lightly with soil make sure they are kept warm enough around (21 -26 Celcius) until germination occurs usually after one week. Once seedlings form give adequate light exposure between eight – twelve hours daily avoiding direct sun scorching.
Make sure you regularly water your plants without letting them sit inside standing water which makes roots rot leading death .

To grow outdoors, wait until weather warms up before planting seeds or seedlings. Choose a spot with ample sunlight and well-draining soil. Water regularly while keeping an eye out for pests like aphids or slugs.

Harvest your purple basil once it reaches about six inches in height, trimming from the top portion for use till whenever you need to harvest again.

Read More

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here