Dark Opal Basil is a variety of basil with purple, slightly crinkled leaves that are very fragrant.
Basil is an annual plant that is well-known for its strong taste, enticing aroma, and distinctive appearance. It is one of the most popular herbs due to its common use in various recipes as well as its ease to grow, and many herb gardens include some variety of basil. Basil can be grown indoors as well with the proper care and plenty of sunlight.
The aroma of the basil plant may attract butterflies and bees, but watch out for pests such as aphids and whiteflies that can also be attracted to basil.
Planting, Growing, and Harvesting:
Plant basil in high-quality soil with adequate drainage in a sunny area. Give basil plants plenty of water, but be careful not to water too much. Plants can grow up to about 18 inches tall. Pinch off any flowers that show up on the basil to help keep up the production of new leaves.
Once the leaves are harvested, they may not keep for very long so be sure to use them quickly. Store basil leaves in the refrigerator for no more than a day or two for best results.
Recipes/How to Use:
Basil is probably best-known for its use in many Italian dishes. It goes especially well with tomato and is a great addition to sauces or can be made into pesto.
Fresh Basil Pasta
1/2 lb pasta
1/2 bunch fresh basil, chopped
3 fresh tomatoes, diced
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons crumbled Feta cheese
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Boil the pasta until it is cooked through.
2. Saute garlic in the olive oil, then add the diced tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, oregano, salt, and pepper. Let simmer for about 8 minutes.
3. Add the basil and cheese to the sauce.
4. Serve the pasta with the sauce. Serves 4.