Sweet basil is the most important herb grown for fresh cut sales. Basil is quite aromatic with flavors somewhat reminiscent of mint, cloves and licorice mixed together. It is important to note basil is the most tender herb. It will turn brown at 5 degree celcius or lower. There are about 60 varieties of this stocky plant, which can grow to be 8 inches to 2 feet.


The fresh herb can be kept for a short time in plastic bags in the refrigerator, or for a longer period in the freezer, after being blanched quickly in boiling water. Place fresh leaves in a dry jar with a pinch of salt, and cover with olive oil. The dried herb also loses most of its flavour, and what little flavour remains tastes very different, with a weak coumarin flavour, like hay.

Home Made Pesto

  • 2 large bunches basil
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 100g pine nuts
  • 300ml olive oil
  • 150g best parmesan cheese


Clean the basil, dry thoroughly and take the leaves away from the stalks. Cut the cheese into chunks. Using a food processor feed in the cheese and process until the size of coarse breadcrumbs, add the pine nuts and garlic and process again, add the basil and process briefly then keep the machine running while you pour in the oil. Season to taste. Store in the fridge for up to one month.

Basil Salmor Dressing

  • handful of basil
  • olive oil
  • juice of lemon
  • salt and pepper


Crush a large handful of basil in a pestle and mortar or food processor with salt, whilst continously adding olive oil until you have liquid consistency. Add a small amount of lemon and peper to taste.

This is a great dressing to serve over grilled courgettes, fish or tomatoes