Basil is one of the most accomplished and distinctive herbs around, and there’s a reason it’s one of the most prevalent herbs in Italian, Greek, and Thai cuisines. It is one of the most common herbs in cooking. It is perfect to season many dishes, from marinades to salads, pasta, soups, broths, etc. While a handful of herbs are in the kitchen in many different ways, basil is probably the most versatile—a classic Italian pesto is made with basil, and fresh basil pairs perfectly with tomatoes, pasta, and meat dishes. You need to use this herb carefully and not accidentally burn it or overcook it.
Mistakes You Need To Avoid With Basil
Not Enough Pruning
When you use fresh basil in a recipe, you should always remove the stems before adding the leaves to your dish. The branches are filled with water and flavor that can dilute the taste of your final product. You also need to make sure to cut off any brown or black spots on the leaves as these will not be good for eating (and they won’t look very appetizing either). Doing this will help ensure that your sauce, soup, salad dressing, or whatever else has just been spiced up by some extra basil flavor does not end up tasting bland due to over-pruning.
Keep Your Basil In The Refrigerator
A fridge is a great place for fresh herbs to stay. Most people do it because it’s a good way to preserve fresh herbs so they’ll last longer and stay fresher. It’s also easy to pull out a few leaves when you need them for cooking rather than having to begin from scratch with a whole bunch of basil or cilantro that will turn brown in a couple of days anyway.
Over Using Basil
Have you ever been told that adding basil to your meals too early will make the food taste bitter? Well, it turns out that is a myth. Basil has an intense aroma and flavor. However, if you wait to add it until just before serving or garnishing at the end of cooking (or after), then you’ll get all of its delicious flavors without any bitterness. So those flavors will diminish if you add them too soon in the cooking process.
The basil plant is a great enhancement to any home, providing a fresh, delicious flavor. However, many people don’t realize that they’re not feeding their basil plant well enough. The leaves will droop, and the plants can be stunted in growth if you’re not providing them with what they need to live. It would help if you gave your basil plant water every day and fertilized it with liquid manure every two weeks.
Use The Proper Type Of Basil
It’s no secret that basil is a powerful herb often in dishes. But did you comprehend that there are many types of basil? Some common ones include lemon, Thai, Italian and sweet basil. If you use the wrong kind of basil, your recipe can come out tasting either too bland or too peppery for what you’re making. A sweet flavor that goes well in pasta dishes like spaghetti and meatballs or tomato sauces because its sweetness offsets the acidity of tomatoes.
You Don’t Freeze Your Basil.
You don’t freeze your basil. When you freeze basil, it becomes a lifeless, tasteless mush that looks like the color of old dishwater. Instead of freezing your basil, store it in a jar full of olive oil (or whatever type of cooking oil you prefer). The flavor will stay strong and fresh for months!
Fresh basil is a precious herb that grows in abundance in the summer months. Its new, lemony flavor is a delight in many dishes. But, remember, basil is not like other herbs you may have used before. Unless you’ve been storing basil for a long time or freezing it, you cannot chop, grind, or break it into smaller pieces. So, it would help if you use your imagination while preparing it in the kitchen.