Herb, Lettuce Leaf Basil
Lettuce leaf basil Ocimum basilicum
Lettuce leaf basil is a large-leaf variety of sweet basil. The large, crinkled leaves grow on a short, wide plant, they taste sweet, but not as strong as other sweet basils. This makes them particularly suitable for tossing into salads or using as a wrap. Excellent used as a layer in lasagna as well.
- Germination Time - 8-14 Days
- Days to Maturity - 60-90 Days
- Seed Depth - 1/4”
- Plant Spacing - 15-18”
- Height - 18-24 in
- Spread - 10-14 in
- Soil - Rich, well-drained
- Leaf/Fruit Color - Green leaves
- Exposure/Light Requirement - Full Sun
- Pests/diseases: Japanese beetles, slugs and aphids
CLASSIFICATION: Open Pollinated, Heirloom, Non-Gmo, Annual
Open pollinated means this plants flowers are fertilized by bees, moths, birds, bats, and even the wind or rain. The seed that forms produces the same plant the following year.
All heirlooms are open pollinated, but not all open pollinated plants are heirlooms. Only a small fraction of the plant world is considered heirloom. This variety has a history of being passed down within communities and families as early as the 1700's, similar to the generational sharing of items like jewelry or furniture.Harvesting Your Basil. Cut both leaves and buds when buds appear. The flowers are edible cooked or fresh, and pinching off the developing blossoms keeps the quality and quantity of the leaf crop going. If you don't pinch off the buds the plant will fully flower and it will go to seed and thus die. Basil will grow a second crop if you don't cut it all the ay to the ground.
To use your dried basil here are a few recipes.Pesto: In the blender mix 4 cloves of garlic, 2-cups freshly picked basil, 1/4 cup pine nuts (or walnuts) 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/4 cup olive oil. As you blend gradually add another cup of olive oil. Pour into container and mix in 1/3 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese. If you are not using right away, store in an airtight container or it will go brown. You can freeze this too. Just omit the cheese. Then add the cheese in when you thaw for use. This goes great on pasta.
Basil cream sauce: This goes perfect over hot pasta, steamed veggies or baked potato. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a pan, stir in 1 Tbsp. of flour, add 1 cup milk, stir until thickened. remove from heat add 1-2 tbsps. of chopped basil, salt pepper to taste, nutmeg is an option or cayenne. you can add chicken for ala king, chopped spinach for creamed spinach or add cheese for a cheese sauce.
To make a basil salad dressing add to a blender, blend. 1 cup Evoo, 1/2 cup wine vinegar, 1/4 cup honey, 2 cloves garlic, 1/3 cup packed basil leaves, 2 Tbsp. dried tomatoes, 1 tsp Dijon mustard salt and pepper to taste. store in fridge.