Does purple really have more fun? We say “”yes!”” This deep purple colored basil (also called Opal Basil) is perfect in pesto, tossed in a salad, or preserved in oils and vinegars.
With its slightly milder flavor than ordinary sweet basil, and can generally be substituted for standard basil in any recipe. It has a rich, deep purple color with green veins making it a striking to use fresh. (In fact, we wouldn’t recommend cooking because the deep purple tends to look black when it cooks down.)
Forget diamonds, this girl likes opals!
No fridge, please! Purple Basil is happiest at room temperature, hanging out in your kitchen. (Basil turns black or develops black spots in the cold.)
Have extra purple basil? No problem. Try these fresh ideas for how to use it quickly.
- Whip up a purple basil lemonade. Just add 1/4 ounce of packed purple basil leaves to any lemonade. Add a spring on top for garnish.
- Make an infused olive oil. First let the purple basil wilt on a paper towel for a hour or two until it looks droopy and the water has come out. Place the herbs in a sterilized mason jar and top with a quality olive oil. Cover the herb by at least 1-2″ of oil. Place oil in sun and let infuse for 4-6 weeks. It’s great if you can shake the herbs in oil daily during this time. Then strain the herbs and place in a clean sterilized jar for use in salad dressing, in a marinade, dipping oil … the possibilities are endless! (And you will love the purple color this gives to the oil!)
- Make an infused vinegar. Directions are the same as making oil above, but replace the oil with a premium vinegar. (A nice white wine vinegar is great!) Great for making salad dressings and marinades or make it as a gift! If you really want to spice things up, add a stick of cinnamon with the purple basil. (Purple basil and cinnamon are a great flavor combination.)