Storage Tips: In general, fresh herbs should be stored in the refrigerator. Wrap Basil in a damp paper towel or place it in a tall glass with about 1 inch of water in the bottom.
Rinse and thoroughly dry basil leaves before using.
Basil can also be preserved in oil or frozen to maximize its shelf life. Chop fresh basil leaves and place in clean ice cub trays. Cover with oil, water, or stock and freeze. When ready to use, simply remove a few cubes and keep the rest in the freezer.
Usage Ideas: The pungent, anise-like flavor of Thai Basil is an excellent addition to any Asian or Indian dish. Try adding it to your favorite curry, soup, rice, or stir-fry
Basil contains volatile oils that can be diminished by high heat and long cooking, so add it to your favorite dish at the end for maximum flavor
Combine any variety of basil with garlic and olive for a quick and easy pesto. Thai Basil is also delicious in fruit chutney.
For an Asian twist, try adding Thai and Opal Basil to your favorite stir fry. These flavors pair well with eggplant, cabbage, and chili peppers
Try adding a few fresh Basil leaves to your favorite cup of hot tea
Thai Basil is also great in poultry and seafood dishes. Simply chop 3-4 tablespoons of fresh Thai basil leaves and add it to your favorite marinade. Toss poultry or any seafood in with the marinade and grill to your liking.
Fun Facts: Basil is a good source of vitamin K, iron, and calcium. It also contains the compounds eugenol and rosmarinic acid, which increase the production of dopamine and serotonin in the brain helping to boost ones mood (2)
Do you suffer from motion sickness? Folklore claims that infusing fresh Basil leaves into hot tea or cold water and drinking it before your travel will help (3)
In ancient times, the seeds from Basil plants were thought to be antidote to snake bites. Victims would eat the seeds and place them over the open wounds (7)
All varieties of Basil are actually members of the peppermint family. Their leaves resemble those of large mint (5)
While it is now cultivated all over the world, the different varieties of Basil were originally found in Asia and Africa. If you cannot find Thai Basil in your local supermarket, try an Asian grocery store (7)