cooking melbourne

Discovering Melbourne's Artisan Foods and Produce

Greek Basil

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Have you been planting herbs in readiness for a summer of salads and tomatoes? Last spring I discovered the virtues of Greek basil and have planted it in a terracotta tub again this year. Over the summer when tomatoes are at their best I love to have the just picked freshness of basil on hand but doing this from pot grown plants on an exposed balcony means it is often a short growing period and keeping the herb well hydrated can be challenging in the heat.  If you have a large garden plot for your Italian (sweet) basil well and good but if you are space constrained then consider planting Greek basil instead. Greek basil has a really good flavour and what is terrific about this variety is the leaves, once picked, don’t seem to brown at the edges. Being a much smaller leaf it can be put on salads whole or as leaf clusters which look somewhat nicer than large whole or torn sweet basil leaves. The other virtue of Greek basil  is that it has a very long growing period. The photo above was taken in late April and the basil stilled looked fresh with no signs of going to seed, so I had plenty of great looking basil for a considerable time. I found Greek basil seedlings at Northcote Nursery.

 

cooking melbourne • October 14, 2018


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