Saturday, August 23, 2008
Basil - Did you know this???
Today's herby entry does not contain a recipe. Rather, it contains two things that I recently discovered about basil. The fact that I recently discovered them makes me very saddened, disappointed and disillusioned in myself. Basil is one of my favorite herbs. Well, actually it is tied for first place with cilantro. So, the fact that I just recently learned two very important things about my top favorite herb, two things that will greatly enhance my enjoyment of basil, is kind of sad. And if you already knew these things, please act surprised. It will help me with my self-esteem issues.
One...in the latest issue of Fine Gardening, there is an article on harvesting herbs. Being an avid herb harvester myself, I thought I knew pretty much everything there was to know. Nope. It says to harvest your basil once a month during the growing season. Once a month! Cut it back to it's two bottom set of leaves! I just snip on as-needed basis through the summer, and then right before school starts I do one big harvest. I had no idea that I should have been harvesting regularly. No idea. You picked a fine time to tell me this, Fine Gardening! Why couldn't you have mentioned this..oh say...back in May..when it would have been more useful??
Second..basil roots like nobody's business!! I've read the hints and tips about storing your basil in a glass on your counter, rather than in the refrigerator. But I never listened. When my CSA started including a few sprigs of basil with my veggies, I put it in a plastic bag in my refrigerator, only to find it several days later, an evil, limp, black mass. So, my last sprig, I sat, dutifully, on my kitchen windowsill in an old tupperware cup. One week later, my basil had rooted like crazy. Look at that picture, that is after only one week! Now, just imagine...if you combine this tip with my first tip, and rooted a few of your harvested sprigs and planted them back in your garden, by the end of the growing season, you could have a mass of basil. If I had known this back in the spring, I could be awash in basil plants right now!!!
These two bits of basil wisdom will be my entry for this week's Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Srivalli at Cooking 4 All Seasons.