Trick to great basil? Summer planting

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog july basilPlant new basil plants now for an extended harvest of the real deal. Photo by Doug Oster

It's about this time of the year when the spring planted basil begins to look a little tired and then starts to go to seed.

Once that happens, the flavor of the basil changes. It's not bad, just different.

Nurseries will have fresh basil plants ready to go in the garden and will be selling them at a discount.

I like to buy them in four inch pots. Usually there are two or three plants in each and I'll wait for an overcast day to plant them.

After a few days, I'll trim the tops of the plants to make them branch and get bushier. The trimmings are a treat in the kitchen.

Nothing can compare to fresh basil. When using it in cooked dishes, I always wait until the dish is taken off the heat to add the basil. The oils will realease and the greens will soften. It's just heaven.

There will also be time for one more planting of basil in August. At the end of the season, right before frost, the basil can be harvested and stored.

Put what's left in a food processor with some good olive oil and turn it into a thick green slurry. Spoon it into ice cube trays and freeze the basil/olive oil mixture.

Add a cube to a recipe during the winter and you'll be transported back to barefoot days in the garden.


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