Recipes and facts – Basil

Basil is a flavourful, leafy green herb that originated in Asia and Africa.

It’s a member of the mint family, and many different varieties exist.

Popular as a food seasoning, this aromatic herb is also used in teas and supplements.

Because basil is generally used in small quantities, the only substantial nutrient it provides is vitamin K. Basil also supplies plant compounds, which contribute aroma and flavour.

Recipes

Basil Pesto

Basil Sorbet

Classic Basil Pesto

  • basil a large bunch (approx. 100g), leaves picked
  • sea salt 1 tsp
  • garlic ½ clove, crushed
  • pine nuts 50g, toasted
  • extra-virgin olive oil 100ml
  • parmesan 50g, finely grated

Put the basil, salt, garlic and pine nuts into a small food processor and pulse until broken down.

Drizzle in the olive oil with the motor running until you have a smooth–ish sauce with a little texture remaining.

Tip into a bowl and stir in the cheese.

Season with salt and pepper

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Orange and Basil Sorbet

  • oranges 4, 2 zested
  • caster sugar 250g
  • basil a large bunch

Gently heat the sugar with 250ml water until dissolved, then simmer for 2 minutes.

Tear the basil leaves, add to the syrup and infuse until cool.

Strain, mix with the orange juice and zest then churn in an ice cream maker until frozen, or freeze in a container, stirring once or twice.

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