Basil is one of the oldest herbal plants to date. Not only is it tasty in recipes, this bushy annual herbal plant is grown for its medicinally useful leaves and seeds. It’s rich in many notable health benefiting phyto-nutrients, essential oils, nutrients, minerals, and vitamins, just to name a few.
For all you over zealous learners: basil belongs to the family of Lamiaceae, of the genus: Ocimum. Its scientific name is “Ocimum basilicum.” Basil is originally native to Iran, India and other tropical regions of Asia. It grows best in warm, tropical climates (or in WGOF greenhouses)
Different varieties of basil herb exist. “Mediterranean” cultivar is typically called sweet basil, has light green leaves as opposite to “Asian basil” that has large, hairy stems and stalks with pink flowers, purple or red leaves and has stronger ‘clove’ like flavor. We grow Italian Genovese Basil here on the farm, which is a Mediterranean variety.
Fresh basil herb should be stored in the refrigerator set at appropriate humidity. Dried basil should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place where it will keep fresh for up to six months.
You should wash fresh Basil in cold running water or rinse for few minutes to remove any dust. In order to keep the fragrance and flavor intact, it is generally added at the last moment in the cooking recipes, since prolonged cooking results in loss of its essential oils. Use Basil leaves to flavor any vegetable, poultry, or meat dish. Basil is also often used in tomato and egg dishes, stews, soups, and salads.
Orange-Basil Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Stir-Fried Greens
3/4 pound filleted Mahi-Mahi, skin on
Steamed green beans, for serving
FOR THE DRESSING:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 orange, zest and juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons shredded basil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make the dressing by combining and mixing the ingredients. Set aside.
Oil and lightly salt the fish. Place it on a cast-iron grill pan, skin side up, then slide under a hot broiler until the skin is blistered.
Flip the fish, then spoon over some of the dressing. Cook for a minute or two. Lift onto plates (or shallow bowls) and pour over the rest of the dressing. Serve, with the green beans, either hot or at room temperature.
Cook’s tip: Take care not to overcook the fish it must stay moist to be at its best.