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Since ancient times, people have learned to enrich the taste and aroma of various dishes with spices and herbs. One of the famous spices, especially revered in the east, is basil greens.
Dishes made from it have a special taste. In Russia, basil is called "royal herb", its other name is "Regan".
What is it and what is it eaten with, what dishes are this spice added to, what can be prepared and what is it suitable for? You can read everything about the use of basil in cooking in our article.
What is it and how does it taste?
What does the spice taste like? Basil is an aromatic spice with a tangy clove flavor... Purple basil leaves have a mint flavor, while green ones have a combination of taste and aroma reminiscent of cloves and laurel. The taste changes depending on the variety.
- The Yerevan variety has the aroma of black tea, allspice and clove flavor.
- Spoon-shaped basil with green leaves has a pungent bay leaf flavor.
- The Baku variety has a mint flavor and a clove aroma.
- Vanilla basil has a delicate vanilla flavor combined with a slight pungency.
Depending on the ripeness, the taste of the spice is different: in young plants, it is more delicate, with a sweet aftertaste, has notes of cloves and cinnamon, it is better to use it fresh. With age, the taste of the spice coarsens, becomes sharp, pungent and bitter.
Can you eat it raw?
What are the nuances of using in cooking? Basil can be eaten raw... Its leaves are rich in vitamin C, PP, B2, sugars, carotene, tannins. The strong aroma comes from the high content of essential oils.
How to do it?
Processing before eating
Where is it added and how to eat it? Before using for food, the regan is washed under running water. The spice does not tolerate heat treatment, especially with purple leaves. Add to the dish just before serving or at the end of cooking, for 10 minutes. Chefs recommend not cutting the basil greens with a knife, but tearing them with your hands to preserve the aroma.
Is it ok to eat every day?
Doctors do not recommend eating basil greens every day.... The culture is rich in essential oils and other substances that affect many systems in the body. If you eat fresh herbs every day for more than 2 weeks in a row, certain health problems may begin. In addition to useful components, the spice contains mercury compounds, the accumulation of which will lead to poisoning of the body. We wrote in more detail about the benefits and dangers of basil here.
What time of day?
Basil can be eaten at any time of the day. Spice is a negative calorie product and requires more energy to digest than the herbs themselves. Basil, eaten at night, satisfies hunger. This information is useful for people looking to lose weight.
Basil greens should not be eaten on an empty stomach. The pungent taste of basil is due to the high content of essential oils, which can irritate the lining of an empty stomach.
Age restrictions and contraindications
Lactating women can use basil greens in moderate doses to increase lactation. Not recommended for preschool children. Schoolchildren and adolescents are allowed, but not every day and in limited quantities. The content of tannins (tannins) in the composition of the spice thickens the blood. Basil leaves have medicinal properties, using them, check out the contraindications.
The main contraindications:
- myocardial infarction, ischemic heart disease;
- thrombosis and thrombophlebitis;
- increased blood clotting;
- pregnancy (read about the use of basil during pregnancy here);
- low blood pressure.
How and where is dried, frozen and boiled seasoning used?
In what dishes is the spice used, with what and how is it eaten?
- Where is the dried basil put? Dried herbs are used in salads, soups, soft drinks, sauces. The culinary feature is that tea is prepared from dried leaves. Dried basil takes up little space, a large amount can be stored and dried for a long time.
- Where and in what dishes are frozen herbs used? In this form, it will retain useful substances, taste and appearance of fresh greens for a long time. Freeze in the form of puree, single leaves or in ice cubes. A certain amount of it is placed in a cube to be immediately thrown into the cooking food.
- Where to put boiled basil? Used purely for medicinal purposes. Decoctions and infusions are prepared from the leaves for chronic diseases of the stomach, bladder, toothache.
Basil can be salted - finely chopped and sprinkled with salt. Dishes with it have a pronounced taste, because the qualities of the seasoning are fully preserved for a long time.
What is the best form to eat?
Young fresh basil greens are best eaten... Its taste is delicate, does not burn, but the leaves are not inferior in the content of vitamins to an adult plant. The use of flowers is not so widespread, since flowering plants are used only for drying.
Cooking applications, where to add it and why?
How and with what it is eaten, for what dishes is it suitable, and also can it be added to soup and salad? Dried basil is included in various spices for pasta dishes, first and second courses, meat, egg dishes, salad dressings and sauces. And it goes badly with fish and chicken.
When cooking canned food and sausages, smoking meat serves as a substitute for pepper. Where and in what dishes is fresh regan added? Fresh leaves and stems are used to season salads, soups, cold meat dishes and desserts, butter for sandwiches.
What are the benefits and harms of basil tea? Fresh leaf tea quenches thirst, refreshes in the heat, replenishes vitamin deficiencies and normalizes sleep.
From fresh leaves
- Take 50 g of fresh leaves, washed with water and dried with a paper towel.
- Then it is brewed with boiling water and allowed to brew for 15-20 minutes.
If there is no fresh greenery, you can use dried spice to make tea.
Take 2 tbsp. l. dried spices, 2 tbsp. black or green tea and brew with boiling water for 15-20 minutes. Can be served with sugar, cream or milk.
What is the use of this tea? The drink invigorates and tones up.
- For 1 liter of water, take 20 g of fresh basil leaves, black currants, raspberries and 10 g. mint.
- Brew with boiling water and insist under a towel for 15 minutes.
Soothes and solves the problem of insomnia.
The harm of the drink
Basil tea - a drink with medicinal properties, it is not recommended to abuse its dosage. The leaves contain mercury compounds, which in small doses have an antimicrobial effect, in large doses they act as a poison.
Dosage of tea intake: if you drink every day, then no more than 3 weeks, then - 2 weeks off.
- 2-3 handfuls of fresh or 2 tbsp. pour dried leaves with a liter of boiled water.
- Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes.
- The broth is allowed to brew for 30 minutes.
- Strain and cool to room temperature.
Where to apply such a drink? The useful properties of the broth are obvious, because it is widely used in the treatment of diseases:
- oral cavity and toothache (rinsing);
- nerves (soothing baths);
- skin diseases (external);
- gastrointestinal diseases;
- sleep disorders;
- rheumatism and arthritis;
- diseases of the bladder.
It is used in vegetable, meat, sour-milk soups. How do you use the spice in food such as soups?
- water - 1 glass;
- a bunch of fresh basil;
- 500 g of tomatoes;
- onions - 2 pcs.;
- carrots - 1 large;
- Parmesan cheese - 50 g;
- olive oil - 30 ml;
- salt and pepper to taste.
- Cut the peeled onions and carrots into small cubes and fry in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until soft.
- Mash the blanched and peeled tomatoes with a fork and add to the vegetables.
- Pour in a glass of water and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Tear the basil leaves with your hands, chop the stems in a blender.
- Add to a dish, pepper and salt.
- Pour the hot soup into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Basil leaves are added to light vegetable, fish and meat salads. Basil leaf puree is included in salad dressings. In Italian cuisine, a favorite trio in salads: basil, mozzarella and tomatoes.
- 4 ripe large tomatoes;
- mozzarella cheese - 200 g;
- avocado - 2 pcs.;
- basil and lettuce to taste.
For salad dressing:
- vegetable oil - 5 tbsp. l .;
- lemon juice - 1 tbsp. l .;
- salt and pepper - 1 pinch.
How to cook:
- Dressing: mix oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and leave - let it brew.
- Cut the mozzarella into slices.
- Tomatoes and avocados are peeled and cut into large cubes.
- Rinse lettuce and basil foliage, dry and tear by hand.
- Pour in the dressing and stir.
At your discretion, the salad is supplemented with boiled shrimps, eggs, capers.
Fresh greens are used for the preparation of minced meat and shashlik from meat, meat goulash, gravy, baking, stewing of any kind of meat. In conjunction with tomatoes and garlic, it gives the meat a spicy and tangy taste.
What we use:
- pork - 1 kg;
- onion - 1 pc .;
- garlic - 3 cloves;
- 2-3 ripe tomatoes;
- olive oil - 1 tbsp l .;
- purple basil - 7 leaves;
- ozmarine and paprika - 1/2 tsp;
- salt, pepper - to taste.
How do we cook:
- Cut the meat into pieces and marinate in olive oil with spices.
- Tear the basil greens with your hands.
- Place the meat in a frying pan with a thick bottom and fry.
- As soon as a ruddy crust appears, we reduce the fire.
- Add peeled and grated tomatoes, garlic and finely chopped onion.
- Season the meat with salt and pepper.
- Simmer covered for 40 minutes.
- Add the basil herbs and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
Basil is added to pizzas, pies, and breads. It gives a spicy taste and aroma to savory baked goods, emphasizes the sound of cheese and tomatoes in pizza. In sweet pastries, it sets off berry fillings with its sharpness, enhances their taste and aroma.
- flour - 1.5 cups;
- dry yeast -3 g;
- salt - 1 tsp;
- semolina - 10 g;
- olive oil - 25 g;
- water - 1 glass.
- cherry tomatoes - 12 pcs.;
- a bunch of basil;
- garlic - 8-10 cloves;
- 2 tbsp. olive oil and corn flour.
- Mix all the dry ingredients of the dough, make a funnel in the middle and pour in oil and some water.
- Water is added while stirring. The dough is elastic and tight.
- Roll into a ball, cover with a towel and put away in a warm place.
- Cut the tomatoes into 2 parts, lightly fry in a pan so that they do not give water during baking.
- When the dough grows 2 times, roll it into a rectangular layer, sprinkle with corn flour.
- Grease the surface with olive oil, distribute the basil, tomatoes and coarsely chopped garlic cloves evenly.
- Wrap in roll or envelope.
- Place in the oven. The initial temperature is 250 degrees, after 5 minutes - 220, after 20 minutes reduce to 180 and bake for 25 minutes until a golden crust appears.
Also on the pages of our site you can find out about the benefits and harms of basil for men and women and how to properly use basil oil.
Basil is an essential spice for many dishes and has many beneficial properties. How exactly to use basil is up to the hostess. A Caucasian proverb fully emphasizes the medicinal properties of this plant: "Whoever chews basil lives a long time!" How exactly to use basil is up to the hostess.