10 Types of Basil

Basil is my favorite herb. I used to grow it in the window every year, but then I realized it does much better outside, so now I grow several plants every year, usually ending up with more than I can use. But no matter, it can easily be frozen in ice cubes:

I usually grow basil from seeds, but I’ve also bought starter plants from the nursery. This can be perplexing, as there are many types of basil out there. My favorite is the Italian Large Leaf basil, which has giant leaves and a sweet flavor that’s great in sauces. But there are many other types of basil, like Cinnamon Basil, which has a cinnamon flavor to it; or Mammoth Basil, which is big enough to roll food in; or Purple Basil, which is, well, purple.
The Herb Companion has an article on 10 Types of Basil, going over the most common kinds of basil. I’m interested to try Siam Queen, which is “the best of the Thai-type basils; licorice aroma and flavor are especially good in fish and beef dishes.”
What’s your favorite type of basil?

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4 thoughts on “10 Types of Basil”

  1. A few years ago I found a lemon basil that was fabulous. I especially enjoyed in salmon burgers I made that summer. Haven’t been able to find it since then. I don’t have much luck with growing basil from seed. Any suggestions?

  2. Karen, I start basil from seed early in the year, around February, and grow in a sunny window until fairly large before transferring to the ground in April/May or so. It seems to work out okay for me, but every climate is different.
    Rob, I grew some of that last year. It’s a pretty neat plant, and good for containers.

  3. Genovese Basil. Mmm… The ideal basil for pesto. It tastes awesome blended with garlic, toasted pine nuts, and olive oil. I add extra garlic since I love it. It’s best to let the flavors meld overnight and it will take out the sting. It always tastes better the next day. Other than that is ~oh so delicious~.
    Thanks for the post.
    Missy from CA


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