For the Love of Purple Basil

Published on 11 May 2023 at 12:16

For the Love of Purple Basil


I have to confess, I love Purple Basil (Ocimum basilicum var. purpurascens).  I don't know why, except maybe because of its deep red color and the fact that it makes for a gorgeous pink vinegar and it's so easy to grow---much easier than the green Basil, for me.

I lost my start of the Purple Basil some years ago and hadn't been able to find starts until this year.  And was so happy to get it back.

It is used just like regular Basil in a wide variety of dishes.  It adds a sparkle to salads with its bright color, has a great flavor, makes a purple pesto, can be used as a garnish and of course, that gorgeous vinegar you can make dressings with!  

So easy to grow, make sure you let one plant go to seed at the end of the season as you will want it to self-seed.  Pinch the leaves of the remaining plants regularly to encourage bushy growth and prevent it flowering and taking away some of the yummy goodness from the leaves.  And you can use it as filler if you want to add it to a summer flower arrangement.  There's no end to its uses, and it is a gorgeous plant.  If you are venturing out into herbs that are new to you this year, try two or three plants of the Purple Basil.  Your life will be changed. Let me know how it goes for you and what you've made of it.

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