The basils in this post are much thinner than the sweet Italian basil. I called them Vietnamese basil because I bought them from a Vietnamese grocery market. They are great for the Vietnamese dishes below because they exudes with a spicy and strong flavor.
1) Pho (Vietnamese Beef Noodles),
2) Shredded Chicken Herbal Salad Recipe,
3) and Steamed Mussels in Basil
A Thai dish that you often see this basil in is the Spicy Thai Beef (chicken) Basil.
On the other hand, the Italian basil Santa Barbara sister is growing great for pasta and salad dishes, as they are not as spicy and as herb-ish smelling.
We are so bless in California to have such fantastic weather to grow so many wonderful types of herbs. I have been enjoying my organic, fish-mint, Persicaria odorata, and cilantro unplugged right from my garden. I usually start from seeds, or use the stalks and grow them inside first like this example: How to Grow Pot Mint Basil Indoors. It is a gardener's greatest pleasure to consume food right off its tree / plant. And for the cook what can be sweeter than a couple of steps away from your freshest ingredient?
Now if you want to save the organic Vietnamese Thai Basil into Flakes for winter use, it's as easy as 1, 2, 3.
- Wash the basil thoroughly. Although I find most plants harvested from one's garden are already clean, but if you're paranoid about dust and dirt, wash them if you will.
- Spin them in a salad spinner, or just let them dry on their own in a cool place.
- Take the leaves off the sprigs and place them on a flat baking sheet.
- Put them in the oven on 200 degrees for about 30 minutes, or on warm and watch them dry up. You might have to check them every 15 minutes depending on how much you harvest.
- Grab a handful and crush them to make them more manageable.
- Store your new dry basil flakes n a jar or an old spice bottle.
- Yay! Now you'll have organic basil at your reach even in the winter!