Basil is native to tropical regions from Central Africa to Southeast Asia. It is a tender plant and is used in cuisines worldwide.
There are many varieties of basil and several related species or hybrids, also called basil. While most common varieties of basil are treated as annuals, some are perennial in warm, tropical climates, such as the closely related holy basil and hybrids such as African blue basil.
Basil is most commonly used fresh in recipes. In general, it is added last, as cooking quickly destroys the flavor. After being swiftly blanched in boiling water, the fresh herb can be kept for a short time in plastic bags in the refrigerator or a more extended period in the freezer.
Basil is one of the main ingredients in pesto, an Italian sauce with olive oil and basil as its primary ingredients. It is also an essential ingredient in the popular Italian-American marinara sauce.
Note: Produce at harvests will vary based on season; please sign up for our newsletter to learn what’s growing each month.
Recipes: Basil Pesto Recipe