Ensuring a Superior Basil Crop, a Blasphemous Affair

There was a time when I thought there was only one type of basil. Actually, I didn’t think about it at all. I just thought basil was basil. Genovese, Purple Ruffles, Thai. As time went on we learned to use all of these varieties and have enjoyed each of their unique flavours in different recipes.

Basil has been cultivated for over 2,000 years and in ancient Rome it symbolized hatred. In Italy basil became known as a symbol of love and young woman were known to wear a sprig of basil in their hair to express their availability.

One thing we found out early on was that basil seed could be hard to germinate. We have enjoyed success with this lovely herb, but often think of the story we once read:

“In Greek and Roman times, it was believed that the only way to have a good basil crop was to throw the seeds over your shoulder while shouting loudly and swearing”.

We remind ourselves of this story when harvesting becomes difficult.

I have a cup of basil tea to relieve indigestion and use it regularly on wounds to eliminate infection. It is said that basil is a healthy booster for the immune system.

Our basil harvest is complete for the year and we look forward to a winter of trying many more basil dishes and continuing our search for new varieties…. hmmm – Cinnamon, Lime, Cardinal, Greek – what should we try next!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1 large onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
¾ lb salmon fillets
¼ cup Sweet Red Chili Sauce
1 cup loosely packed (Thai) basil leaves

Make a large double thickness of foil and lay over baking sheet. Spread a layer of onions in center. Spread most of the sliced tomatoes atop the onions. Put on the salmon fillet, skin side down. Spread Sweet Red Chili Sauce over salmon. Pile fresh basil leaves atop the salmon. Put the remaining tomato slices atop the basil. Fold the foil lengthwise and roll foil down to seal top. Roll up ends of foil to complete the seal. Bake 45 minutes.

For more basil recipes, visit www.heritagelineherbs.com

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