Fresh Chicago Basil is in your local store just one day after harvest.

Dense with nutrients, full of aroma, grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

Colorful basil leaves

Basil and sweet basil are commonly used names for the culinary herb Ocimum basilicum from the mint family. Basil has been grown in India for as long as 5000 years, and used in cooking almost everywhere from Asia to Italy;  recently, basil became very popular in the United States. Almost 200 basil varieties have their own, distinctive name; at FarmedHere labs we’ve been testing a number of them in order to offer the best tasting ones.

Sweet basil, often called Genovese Basil, is one of the most popular dark green leaf basils. It is full of aroma and has sweeter and more delicate taste. Works great in salads and makes perfect pesto sauces. Opal basil is an attractive plant with dark purple, crinkled foliage and pink flowers. The perfumed scent and medium flavor is good with rice and pasta dishes, and used to flavor oils and vinegars. Lemon basil leaves are smaller than other variety. Lemon basil has a strong lemon flavor with basil overtones: spice and mint come through with a little hint of anise. Lemon basil makes an excellent addition to fish and shellfish dishes, as a garnish in soups, and as a source of zesty flavor in salads. Thai basil has a distinctive reddish-purplish stalks and mint green leaves. Thai basil is recognized for its strong, distinctive anise flavor. Thai basil is not only a staple in Thai cuisine, but highlights many Asian and Vietnamese dishes.

Fresh Local Mint from FarmedHere

Local Organic Fresh Mint

Mint descends from the Latin word mentha, which is rooted in the Greek word minthe, personified in Greek mythology as Minthe, a nymph who was transformed into a mint plant. The word itself probably derives from a now extinct pre-Greek language. The taxonomic family Lamiaceae is known as the mint family. It includes many other aromatic herbs, including most of the more common cooking herbs, including basil, rosemary, sage, oregano, and catnip.

Fresh mint is usually preferred over dried mint when storage of the mint is not a problem. The leaves have a warm, fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor with a cool aftertaste. Mint leaves are used in teas, beverages, jellies, syrups, candies, and ice creams. In Middle Eastern cuisine, mint is used on lamb dishes, while in British cuisine and American cuisine, mint sauce and mint jelly are used, respectively.

Research studies on basil suggest unique health-protecting effects. Basil is an excellent source of vitamins K and A, calcium, iron, fiber, magnesium, and beta-carotene. Anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties of basil have also been shown by researchers. Potential anticancer effectiveness is being studied.

 

CAPRESE SALAD WITH SWEET BASIL & VINAIGRETTE

Ingredients:

4 large organic tomatoes, sliced into thick slices

1 round fresh mozzarella, sliced into thick slices

½ cup FarmedHere Sweet Basil leaves

Sweet Basil Vinaigrette

Directions:

To assemble, layer the tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil leaves. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Repeat with remaining layers for each tomato. Drizzle with FarmedHere Sweet Basil Vinaigrette and garnish with more basil leaves!

SWEET BASIL PESTO SAUCE

(Recipe provided by our customer Raymond)

Ingredients:

3-4 cups sweet basil leaves

1/2 cup cilantro or parsley

1/4 cup grated parmesan and 1/4 cup grated asiago cheese

1/2 cup pine nuts

6-7 garlic cloves, finely minced

1/2 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)

1 tablespoon of lemon juice (freshly squeezed)

1/2 cup ‘extra virgin’ olive oil

1/2 tablespoon turbinado sugar or agave sweetener

Directions:

Pluck well washed and drained basil leaves off the stems. Pack leaves extra tightly into measuring cup. Combine peeled garlic with salt in food-processor give it a quick swirl then add remaining ingredients except for cheese. Process until all smooth and blended (take full advantage of the heavenly aroma) now add cheese a quick swirl just to blend together. Serve over freshly cooked pasta (Raymond prefers Jerusalem Organics Artichoke Heart flour pasta). This makes about 1 1/2 cups of pesto.