Bouquet of Basil

To store all types of fresh basil, keep the stem ends in a glass of water and cover with a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator. Or, wrap in a paper towel and store in a ziplock bag and refrigerate. Basil can stay fresh for up to one week, but it is best to use as soon as possible as it is very perishable.  Have fun and use your nose to distinguish each variety!

Cinnamon basil’s deep green glossy leaves offer a unique cinnamon taste and release a matching aroma. This special variety of basil is reminiscent to spicy cinnamon when crushed. Ideal for adding subtle cinnamon flavor and a tempting cinnamony fragrance to Southeast Asian dishes.

Teas, vegetable dishes and fruit salads love cinnamon basil. Rub leaves on beef or cook with a pot roast or pork tenderloin stuffed with apples. Poultry, fish, veal and lamb dishes welcome its flavor. Use in pesto flavored with ground toasted walnuts and pine nuts. Drizzle leaves with a port and lemon juice vinaigrette. Pear and apple salads benefit from its goodness. Cinnamon basil sprigs add flavor and visual appeal to cranberry and apple juice, fruit nectars, chutneys and jellies. Excellent for tomato dishes, pasta sauces and cold or hot soups. Pair with beans, pasta, rice, cheese and eggs. Combine with other fruity flavored herbs. Flavor vinegar. Use as lovely edible garnish. This basil makes a fragrant potpourri herb. Add pizzazz to cheesecake or a cheesecake mixes with one-half cup chopped cinnamon basil leaves. Stir in just before filling the crust. Chill. Garnish with cinnamon basil sprigs. To store, treat fresh basil like a flower. Put stems in a pot or glass of water; use within three to six days. Refrigerating fresh basil causes this delicate herb to develop dark brown spots, which ruins its flavor and presentation.

Cinnamon Basil, Chicken and Nut Spread

1/4 c. sweet butter, softened
1 t. honey
1/3 c. very finely chopped cooked chicken
3 t. washed, dried and finely chopped cinnamon basil leaves
3 T. almonds, very finely chopped
Salt to taste

Blend softened butter and honey until smooth. Stir in chicken, cinnamon basil and almonds. Salt to taste.

Serve on very thin bread with crusts removed. (Think high tea….)

I don’t know where I got this recipe; I think it was from the Cooking Forum;

Lemon Basil can be used with almost any recipes that require basil, including seafood (mainly fish), chicken, pesto, sprinkled on salads.  Anything that’s good with Lemon and Pepper.

Seared Salmon with Lemon Basil Risotto

2 tsp olive oil
1 large onion (diced)
1/2 cup arborio rice
3 cups water
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
1 ounce semi soft goat cheese
6 large leaves fresh basil (chiffonade)
2 4 ounce salmon filets
2 green onions (separated green tops from white parts)

Place 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.

Add the onion and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the arborio rice and stir for about 2 minutes.

Add the water, chicken broth, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low so that the rice is simmering. Cook for about 20 minutes until the rice is just tender. Add more water 1/4 cup at a time as needed to let the rice cook, but when it is done there should be almost no liquid left.

Add the goat cheese and reduce the heat to medium low. Stir gently so that the goat cheese melts. Reduce the heat to low.

Place a large skillet over high heat and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Sear the salmon and cook for about 2 – 3 minutes on each side.

Just before the fish is done, add the basil to the risotto and stir. Divide the risotto between two bowls and top with the salmon.

While the large skillet is still hot, toss in the green onions and toss for about 30 seconds until they begin to wilt. Place the green onions on top of the fish and serve.

Thai Basil tastes rather like anise, looks like sweet basil and is therefore sometimes called Thai Sweet Basil. Bai horapa is used in large quantities and in many dishes in Thailand, including stir-fries, salads and soups and Thai red and green curry. This tropical variety is the source of the unusual basil flavor in many Thai dishes. The leaves are smaller and a darker green then Western sweet basil, with purple stems and purple flower buds. The edible leaves and flowers have a distinctly licorice scent.

Purple Basil use as traditional basil.