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Basil
Basil
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Other Names

Ocimum basilicium / Ocimum tonuiflorum / Ocumum sanctum

French: basilic

 

The "royal" herb

 Etymology
From the Greek "basilikos," meaning royal

Description
This small, minty aromatic plant grows in temperate countries. The silky lanceolate leaves are of a varyingly dark green, sometimes light reddish, 3 to 5 cm long.

A royal herb, long having sacred associations, basil was also part of the language of love. What, you may ask, could be more innocent than a pot of basil on a window sill? But beware: this was often a sign that the coast was clear for the lover to come and embrace his young lady without danger. For the lover who wished to become engaged without great fuss, he had only to offer a branch of basil to his beloved. By accepting it, she made an unspoken promise to love him and remain eternally faithful. Since Italian food is strongly flavored with basil, and in every kitchen and on every window sill sits a pot of basil, it seems they reversed the custom!

 

 
Recipes
Basil Sorbet served with a Basil Tuile and Berry Coulis
Alain Labrie, La table du chef, Sherbrooke, Québec
Basil Vinaigrette
Jacques et Laurent Pourcel, Le Jardin des Sens, France
Mediterranean Tuna Snacks
Michel Portos, Hauterive Saint-James, France, Michel Portos
Raw Prawns with Dried Strawberries, Large Olives and Basil
Carme Ruscalleda, restaurante Sant Pau, Espagne
Goat Cheese, confit tomato, wintercress salad and basil emulsion
Alain Labrie, La table du chef, Sherbrooke, Québec
Strawberry Coulis with Basil
Alain Labrie, La table du chef, Sherbrooke, Québec
Herb and crab salad
Jean Soulard, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac (1993-2013), Québec
Tilapia and zucchini roulade with sundried tomato filling
Jean Soulard, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac (1993-2013), Québec

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