The wonderful smell and taste of basil reminds me instantly of Italy. I love to buy fresh basil. On the way home my car fills with its aromatic oils which never fail to make my mouth water. I could not imagine cooking without it. Basil is a vital ingredient in many recipes which I introduce in this book. Luckily we can find it now regularly on the market or in supermarkets. It is easy to grow at home as well but tends to attract various pests.
Basil not only tastes good, it offers many benefits for our bodies. It contains flavonoids which protect human cells and chromosomes from damage by radiation and oxygen. It also can inhibit the growth of some bacteria which have become resistant to antibiotics. An essential oil of basil even provides relief from inflammation by acting in a similar way like Aspirin. Furthermore this herb contains vitamin A, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin C.
Never cook Basil for a long time as the aromatic oils will evaporate. Always add it towards the end of the cooking process.