Copyright 2017 Maria Liberati/Art of Living, Prima Media,Inc.
Editor: Christina Joell
Basil – that makes Sunday ‘sugo’ so flavorful translates in Greek to mean “royal/kingly plant.” And this herb lives up to its. name. Not sure about you but one whiff of this leaf sends my head spinning. But if you believe in the magical powers of herbs..basil is one of the most magical..legends.given as a gift it brings good luck.
Legend has it that witches were said to drink half a cup of basil juice before flying in the air
And did you know that basil juice should be added to the waters used for washing a new house to bring good luck and protection to all those living there..
Basil belongs to the mint family of plants and has many different varieties. In fact, there are 50 to 150 species of basil! There’s too many to list the entirely. But to name a few, there’s a sweet basil, that is the most popular and is often used in Italian food. There’s lemon, Thai and holy basil.
It’s a plant that is easy to grow and can be grown indoors in your own pot or outdoors, but be weary of cold weather because that can seriously affect its growth.
Why would you want to grow basil? Not only does it taste good (fresh basil is supposed to have a sweet, clove-like taste, whereas dried basil tastes more like curry) a but because it has health benefits and thought to be one of the healthiest herbs. Basil gives vitamin K and just two tablespoons can give up to 29% of the recommended value! It also contains Vitamin A and other powerful antioxidants.. And the science is there to back it up.
So many want to show their love to basil and festivals honoring this plant are held all over the USA. One of the most popular basil festivals is Basil-Fest in San Antonio, Texas. Unfortunately, it was on May 20th of this year, but because it was the 8th annual event, there’s bound to be another! The tagline of the event is: “We will celebrate Basil, The Herb of Summer – with Seminars, Plants to Purchase, Cooking Demonstrations, and a Children’s Potting Event (sanantonioherbmarket.org)
For recipes with basil get your copy of the Gourmand World Award Winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays and Special Occasions-2nd edition