Basil is one fresh herb that has inspired quite a cult following. It is used to season many Italian and Asian dishes. It is a warm season crop that does not like cool temperatures in the field - so enjoy it while you can during the hot summer days.
Fresh leaves do not store well and should be used in a couple of days. They do not tolerate cold well and might turn black from cold injury in your refrigerator. Your best bet is to keep fresh leaves in an open plastic bag in a cool spot on your kitchen counter. For longer storage, leaves can be dried or made into pesto and frozen.
- Chopped basil can be used to season soups, sauces, stir-fries and stews. Let your imagination run wild.
- Add whole leaves to sandwiches.
- Slice fresh tomatoes onto toast and broil for a few minutes until the tomato starts to become soft then cover with fresh basil and cheese and broil again to melt the cheese. This makes the most incredible grilled cheese sandwich.
- Puree with oil and nuts to make pesto.