Taste: The flavor of basil is a balance between sweet and savory, with hints of mint, anise, and pepper. While the initial flavor has pronounced tones of black pepper, this aromatic herb ultimately adds a hint of sweetness to any dish.
Benefits: Basil is packed with beneficial essential oils that help to protect the body against harmful microbes and bacteria. This antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial herb helps to prevent the growth and spread of bacteria that cause ailments. Rich in beta-caryophyllene and vitamin K, C, and A, basil is also a natural source of antioxidants and can help prevent inflammation, boost the metabolism, lower blood pressure, reduce free radicals, and lower blood sugar levels.
Culinary Use: This popular herb is used in a variety of Mediterranean and Asian dishes, ranging from creamy sauces to light, herbaceous salads and spicy curries. Ingredients that are complimented by the addition of basil include meats like chicken and beef, olive oil, eggs, tomatoes, and herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Basil is most aromatic when used fresh, and fresh basil should be added at the end of cooking.