Jekka is All About Basil

Our herb of the month for August, is Basil. The name Basil is derived from the Greek "basilikos", which means "herb worthy of a king", and it was also supposed to be an antidote to the basilisk's venom (perhaps someone should have told Harry Potter!). Recent medicinal discoveries have shown that the essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties and that water extracts have antibacterial and antiviral activity. Otherwise, Basil is considered to be the herb for the head as it improves circulation and soothes headaches, especially when caused by stress.

Basil is from the family Lamiaceae and originated from tropical Africa and Asia. It was brought to Western Europe in the 16th Century by the merchants of spices; the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans were already aware of its flavors and healing properties. Today it is frequently associated with Italian cooking such as pizzas, salads, sauces and pesto.

This is the time of year to harvest Basil for use in cooking, to preserve in vinegar or oils or to collect seeds and store for sowing next year. We outline some uses in this newsletter and you can read more in Jekka's blog "All About Basil" through the link below.
Read Jekka's Blog "All About Basil"

Cooking with Basil

At Jekka's we use Basil in all types of dishes from savory to sweet, from Thai food to ice cream. We grow many different varieties as they offer a range of subtle flavours from the peppery/clove Greek Basil to the lemon Mrs Burns. Due to the variety of Basils available you can usually find one that is ideal for the dish that you are cooking.

A word of warning, Basil has a flavour that should be used with discretion otherwise it can dominate other ingredients. It is also a unique culinary herb in that its flavour is impaired when cooked for a long time, therefore for best results, you should add towards the end of cooking.

We are proud to have partnered up with Leiths School of Food and Wine and through the link below you will find a Thai Basil Sorbet recipe by Leiths Diploma Student Helen Gurnett.

Make Thai Basil Sorbet

Jekka's September Open Days

Jekka's Basils will be available at our next open days on Thursday 3rd September, Friday 4th September and Saturday 5th September. Limited coupons are on sale now. Please see our website to buy Jekka's Open Day coupons.

During the Open Days, Jekka's team will be on hand to answer your herb related queries and our shop will be open selling our tools, seeds, gifts and our herbal infusions.

Buy September Open Day Coupons

'Cultivating Flavour'
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