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Basil has a strong history of reverence and loathing. Its name is Greek for “King” and it is revered as a sacred herb in the Hindu religion. However, in Europe during the Middle Ages it was believed that scorpions would breed under pots of Basil and just to smell Basil would form a scorpion in the brain. Basil is known as the tomato herb because of their affinity. There are over 150 varieties of Basil.


Basil should have a good fresh green colour preserved by careful drying at temperatures of less than 110°F. The dried herb should retain its aniseed flavour. Methyl Chavicol is the principal flavour – giving volatile oil.


Stir into chopped fresh tomatoes with a dash of olive oil for a delicious bruschetta topping. Sprinkle over pizzas, roasted vegetables or tomato soup. Add to tomato sauces for pasta. Mix with olive oil, tomato pure and garlic to make a salad dressing. Bake whole baby courgettes in olive oil, chopped tomato and Basil.


Energy per 100g: 175 KCal
Protein per 100g: 14 g
Carbohydrates per 100g: 20 g
Fat per 100g: 4 g
Sugars per 100g: 1.7 g
Saturates per 100g: 0.2 g
Fibre per 100g: 41 g
Sodium per 100g: 0.03 g