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Sweet Basil Flowering Tops


Paul Bacino
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I cut them with enough stem to fit into a small bud vase (2.5 to 3 inches high). The tiny flowers are really rather pretty if you look at them closely, and new ones keep coming out. Basil roots in plain water, so they stay alive for a long time.

As noted above, you do need to pick them if you want to keep getting leaves from the plant.

Dick in Northbrook, IL

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Basil flowers taste like basil leaves. So just substitute. I can always find an excuse for adding basil. Marinara? Basil! Stuffing a chicken breast? Basil! Cheerios for breakfast? Basil!

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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Any culinary ideas, on the tops prior to flowering?

Tons of uses. They are entirely edible. Think of them as basil concentrate. Works in tomato sauces, Asian noodle soups, egg dishes...

I've had good luck in my microdish experiments but my everyday use is usually as edible garnish.

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

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Interesting ideas for the flowers, but I never have any, as I keep pinching back the basil to keep it from bolting (flowering). As soon as it does, the plant gets woody, and the leaves that do come are much less soft and flavorful. If you want the flowers, that's obviously fine. But if you want to have good basil all season long, you should definitely keep the plant pinched or cut back long before the flowers begin to appear.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Just thought of it this minute, so have not tried it, but I wonder if they'd be able to handle a very light, super quick tempura fry....as a component in a caprese salad. Just thinking out loud.

I would give the flower stem a sample chew to make sure it is not woody. I fried the oregano flower clusters after just a light rinse and drag through a cornflour/cornmeal mix - the result was good though some were a bit tough and it was sort of like eating and artichoke leaf. Hold end, put in mouth and sort of pull. Report back please if you give it a test drive.

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I use basil flowers in vinagrettes, mostly - if you chop them so that they're down to one ring of florets per unit and then pop them in at the oil stage of the vinagrette, they end up nicely preserved when they come out. They're also stronger in flavour than the leaves, which means that even if you only have a few they're more than worth their weight.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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