Monday, February 7, 2011

Lemon Basil

‘I pray your Highness mark this curious herb: Touch it but lightly, stroke it softly, Sir, And it gives forth an odour sweet and rare; But crush it harshly and you’ll make a scent Most disagreeable.’ 19th Century American humorist and folklorist Charles Godfrey Leland.
If ever there were a herb for a globalised world, it is basil. For there is, firstly for Europeans, the ‘sweet’ basil, Ocimum basilicum alluded to above by Leland. But then there are at least-the very least-five others used by the Thais, Indians, Sri Lankans, Vietnamese and Indonesians. Without enumerating the botanical names of each there are also basils described as liquorice, cinnamon, clove, champor, lettuce leaf and lemon (Citation~ The roots of Civilisation;Plants that changed the world by John Newton). Lemon Basil is the main basil variety that are growing in our patch this summer. I always like lemony flavour or fragrance.
Lemon Basil seedlings.
lemon basil
Lemon Basil seedlings ready to be transplanted. Someone else like lemon basil as well and had a bit of a snack.DSC09723
I was thinking of planting lemon basils with tomatoes but they germinate later than tomatoes as they need much warmer weather to germinate. So I decided to observe whether lemon basil and brinjal will be good buddies or not this warm season. At this stage, it is too early to conclude whether they get along or not.
Lemon Basil (12)DSC08602

Lemon Basil Flowers.
Lemon Basil (5)
Where are the seeds?
Lemon Basil (4)
We aim to collect some lemon basil seeds this year.
Basil Lemon
We like to put lemon basil leaves in instant noodle soup or fish soup.Instant noodle? Trying to make it more nutritious when you know that instant noodles are junk food and giving it a more lemony flavour when the soup is tasteless.. How do you like to use lemon basil?


miruku said...

I don't know what is a lemon basil. Erm, because i don't cook, but maybe my hubby knows, haha. I see your brinjals are flowering. Mine too, but most flowers have only anthers but no stigmas, that really bother me.....geeez

cikmanggis said...

Cm tak pernah lihat lemon basil sebelum ini.Dan tak berapa kenal nama nama jenis basil yang ada.Boleh belajar dan dapat ilmu yang lebih dari blog Diana ni:)thanks ya:)

Anonymous said...

Unlike most Europeans, I do not use basil at all. It has too strong fragrance and I don't like things with that strong fragrance.
I love the picture where you show how to collect seeds. Some plants are very difficult when it comes to collecting seeds.

Lrong Lim said...

We take them fresh and raw, on salads... or with bread in the mornings...

p3chandan said...

Just today I cooked Hot basil stir-fry beef with my home-grown Thai basil. Are they the same this lemon and Thai basil?

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Basil is romantic in my garden.., they stay in Putrajaya, they come to Tanah Merah... They reseed so well... and I have the pleasure choosing the healthiest to continue growing..

One said...

I only have Thai Basil. Maybe I had Lemon Basil before but they have disappeared. What do you do with Thai Basil? I have ample. I add all sorts of veggie into my instant noodle including daun kesum but have not tried Basil.

kitchen flavours said...

I have the Thai Basil and Sweet Basil. Use them for cooking, in spicy chicken stir-fry and also in my spaghetti sauce. I love lots of spring onions in my instant noodles, never tried with basil before!

CathJ said...

mmm.. love basil in the soup too...

~TastyTravels~ said...

I'm glad to see this post! I got some lemon basil seeds in a swap and was planning to grow some this year. However, I didn't know how I was going to use them. Thanks for posting!

meemsnyc said...

Ooh, I've never grown lemon basil before. I'll have to give this one a try.

Mark Willis said...

I've never grown or tasted Lemon Basil, but I absolutely love the Sweet (European) Basil. I usually grow one called Sweet Genovese, which always does well for me. My favourite way to use it is in Pesto. A little bit of Basil can flavour a lot of food, so we generally freeze our pesto in an ice-cube tray, and then just take out from the freezer as many basil cubes as we need at that moment - it's a great way of livening-up a soup such as tomato.

Mr. H. said...

Your lemon basil looks wonderful. We mostly grow regular green and purple basil but another kind I really like is Blue Spice basil, it has a very strong odor that I like. I need to try and find some seeds so that we can grow it again this year.

I never have much luck saving basil seed like yours, perhaps this will be the year I am able to meet that challenge.:)

Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

I love the quote that you opened up with! Basil has not amongst my most favorite of herbs. I am always up for trying new things however and would be interested in giving lemon basil a try. I bet that it would be wonderful in a fish soup.

Fishtail Cottage said...

Hi Diana - I am so excited to let you know that i recieved the hollyhock seeds! So excited to plant these in my garden - i will plant them soon & will share pics with you when they peek their heads out of the ground! thanks so much - can't begin to tell you how special this is to me! xoox

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Milka~ Maybe your hubby will like you to grow some basil in your garden for cooking. It is said that tomato like basil as companion.

CikManggis~Saya pun pertama kali bertemu dengan lemon basil tahun lepas sebab saudara yang duduk bersama saya teringin nak makan lemon basil dengan maggi. Jadi saya belikan benih lemon basil dan tanam lemon basil ini untuk dia. Syok pula makan maggi dengan lemon basil.

vrtlarica ana~ I don't know how to collect them at first but my cousin show me where the seeds are. Lemon basil don't have that very strong fragrance like other basil just mild.

Lrong~That a very nice healthy tip. Thank you so much.

p3chandan~ Thai and lemon basil are very different. Thai are more strongly fragrant while lemon basil are much more milder and have a lemony flavour and smell.

Bangchik~ They can propagate very well from stem too don't they.

ONE~ I think kitchen flavour and p3chandan have more idea what to do with Thai basil. I think Thai basil are used more in meat dishes whereas Lemon Basil is more suited for seafood. Thai basil did not germinate well for me this year and I used up all, now I don't have any Thai Basil in my collection:(. Oh I have not tried daun kesum in instant noodle yet. Must try.

Kitchen flavours~ I hope you try eating instant noodle next time with basil and hope you like it!

CathJ~Are you craving some basil now;-).

Holly~ I think you will have a nice and fun adventure with experimenting lemon basil in your dishes this year.

Meesnyc~There are very easy to grow and you can used it as companion planting.

Mark Willis~ Thank you for the idea, I might freeze some in cubes as well.

Mr. H~ I never come accross of Blue Spice Basil before. Is it spicy as the name suggest? I hope this year you will be able to collect some Basil Seeds. I think I sneaked in some lemon basil seeds for you as well;-).

Jennifer~ I hope you give it a try. It does enhance fish soup flavour.

Tracie~Oh I am very happy to know the seeds has been safely delivered to you!