Basil Fawlty

Many years ago I tried growing basil from seed, for some reason it never germinated, I gave in and put it down as ‘one of those things I can’t grow’. Every once in a while I’d buy a basil plant from the supermarket, when nibbled raw I’d always be hit with disappointment that the bland faint flavour never matched it’s tempting smell, when cooked any morsel of flavour would vanish, so I just viewed basil as a waste of time and never understood its hype.

This year I was given a selection of herb seeds, one of which was basil. Not being one to neglect a packet of seeds I sprinkled them in compost and to my surprise they all quickly germinated.

Basil seedlingsBasil seedlings

I planted the baby basil out under the tomato plants in the green house, using the companion planting theory. Tomatoes and basil share nutrients enhancing each others flavour, the smell from the basil also helps confuse insects seeking tomatoes to eat. Well it worked a treat; we’ve had an enormous and delicious crop of tomatoes. The basil aroma is divine and to my amazement surpassed by the incredible full flavour it has raw and cooked. It’s a herb revelation; I finally understand why the Italians can’t cook without it and friends who have grown it for years are evangelical when discussing their basil crop. The essential key is to grow your own basil, never waste your money on the fake imitation supermarket plants.

BasilBasil under a tomato plant

Tomato and basil saladHome grown tomato and basil salad, a fabulous combination

Regular readers and friends have no doubt guessed the title of this posting is the husbands wit; sometimes he needs to be humoured!