Holy Basil and Beets
The garden is looking really nice. We've had a WWOOFER staying with us for the past few weeks and he's really helped us get so much done. In the foreground we have our first Milpa or three sisters experiment planted. We have three types of corn in there, one a rainbow sweet corn, one a rainbow popcorn, and one a rainbow flour corn. The squash is mostly butternut and Styrian Hulless, a pumpkin with hull-less pumpkin seeds that are very delicious. The beans are cranberry beans and fort portal jade beans, a dried bean that is green. We've especially enjoying watching this part of the garden grow.
What is Holy Basil and what can I do with it?
Holy basil, also known as Tulsi, is a great herb. Holy basil is a basil, and in India where it is native, it grows into huge perennial shrubs. Here we grow it as an annual, as it does not survive frost. It is a gentle yet powerful herb that is safe for everyone and helps the body process stress and return to equilibrium. People find it uplifting and grounding. It is also soothing to the digestion especially after eating too big of a meal, like at a holiday party of barbecue.
Holy Basil makes an awesome tea, served hot or cold. You can make the tea with fresh herb or you can dry the herb and enjoy the tea later on. Put a sprig or two in a tea pot or jar and pour hot water on it. Steep for 5 minutes or longer, and enjoy. You can not over-steep this herb. It can steep for hours and the flavor will only become more dark.
Also, Lasagna!! Holy Basil in Lasagna is Amazing!!! It can go in any Italian dish you would add basil to, but I think it is particularly tasty with the ricotta cheese that tends to end up in lasagna. I usually make vegetarian lasagna, with lots of summer squash/zucchini in it. The Beet Leaves would also be really tasty in said lasagna.
Holy basil also goes well with beets! Wash beets, peel if desired, chop into cubes. Steam with a bit of apple cider vinegar in the water, until tender. Put into a bowl. Finely chop the holy basil, and add to beets with some oilve oil and salt. Add feta cheese if desired. Serve as a side dish on its own, or as a topping on arugula salad. Add balsamic vinegar if more sour is needed.
Making the most of your box
Don't forget to eat your beet greens! They taste very similar to Swiss Chard. For prolonged storage, remove beet greens immediately and store the beets and the greens seperately in the refrigerator.