Spicy globe basil recipes

Love Your Basil: Spicy Globe Basil

Photo by matthew_middleton_dot_ca/Courtesy Flickr

I love to entertain and serve one-of-a-kind desserts. You never know what I’ll bring to the table to share. My ‘Spicy Globe’ Blackberry Tart is a crowd pleaser. It’s so attractive that you can’t wait to take your first bite. When you do, you won’t be disappointed. Take time to savor all the different flavors ranging from the rich cornmeal shortbread crust and the creamy vanilla bean flavored filling, to the juicy blackberries with just a little spice from the ‘Spicy Globe’.

‘Spicy Globe’ Blackberry Tart

I freeze fresh blackberries and fresh ‘Spicy Globe’ so I can prepare this dessert for special occasions. ()

Filling

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• 2 cups sour cream
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 vanilla bean pod, halved lengthwise

Cornmeal Shortbread Dough

• 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 3 tablespoons fine yellow cornmeal
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 large egg yolk
• 1 1/2 tablespoons heavy (whipping) cream
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 6 tablespoons butter, softened
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 1 tablespoon orange zest, finely grated

Topping

• 2 cups blackberries
• 1/4 cup fresh ‘Spicy Globe’ leaves, loosely packed, plus sprigs for garnish
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 tablespoon water

1. After washing the ‘Spicy Globe’, pinch the leaves from the stem and put them in a bowl.

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2. Combine the sour cream and white sugar, mixing until white sugar is dissolved. Cut the vanilla bean pod in half and slice it lengthwise. Scrape the vanilla bean out with a knife and add it to your mixture. Since it is very costly, make sure that you are not wasting any of it. Stir the vanilla bean into the mixture; once it is completely mixed put a lid on it and refrigerate it for 3 hours or overnight.

3. After refrigerated, prepare your cornmeal shortbread dough for the crust. Combine flour, cornmeal and salt. Set aside.

4. In another bowl, whisk egg yolk, heavy cream, and vanilla extract together. Set aside.

5. Add butter and sugar to an electric mixing bowl and beat it at medium speed until it is light and fluffy. Now, add in your yolk mixture and the orange zest. Turn down the speed of the beater and add your flour mixture. Beat the mixture until it forms a dough that is very soft. When the dough is ready, form it into a little disk and wrap it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.

6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Cover the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spread the dough over it. Leave a little bit over the edge so that you can easily pick up the crust once it is baked.

7. Mold the dough to the pan and make sure that the bottom of the pan is completely covered with dough.

8. Place the crust in the oven for about 18 to 20 minutes until it turns golden. Then, set it on a rack and let cool completely.

9. In a saucepan, combine fresh blackberries, ‘Spicy Globe’, cinnamon and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook it until the juice starts to come out; about two minutes.

10. Take the dough out of the tart pan on a dish. Spoon the vanilla bean filling that we have already prepared onto the crust. Spoon the cooked blackberry mixture over the crust. Garnish with some fresh basil tops.

The ‘Spicy Globe’ Blackberry Tart is now ready for you to eat and enjoy!

You, too, can enjoy the many benefits of learning to grow, care for, and cook with basil. The Herb Companion is a treasure of news and tips in learning all about the fascinating basil and other healthy herbs.

I’m Ramona Werst, teaching you to Love Your Basil.

Spicy Globe Basil Seeds

Sowing: Since Spicy Globe basil thrives in warm weather, it grows best when the soil has warmed and there is no chance of frost. Gardeners with short growing seasons may want to start their seeds indoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost date, sowing them thinly in flats and providing heat to speed germination. Transplant 15-18″ apart. To direct sow, plant the seeds 1/4″ deep in rich soil and full sun, thinning to 15-18″ apart when the seedlings develop. Spicy Globe basil also grows well indoors or as a container plant.

Growing: Basil thrives in soil that drains well, yet needs water often. If the weather drops below 50 degrees, provide protection. As the plant grows, pruning it helps it to develop into a bushy, healthy plant; pruning is also important because once the plant flowers, it will begin to wilt and die. To prune the plant, remove the top several sets of leaves on each stem, taking care to leave at least three sets of leaves on the lower part.

Harvesting: Basil leaves can be harvested as soon as they reach a height of 6-8″. The best time to harvest the leaves is in the morning after the dew dries. After the plant is established, harvesting often actually improves production; once the flowers develop, however, the leaves grow bitter to the taste. Remove single leaves or parts of a stem as needed, taking care to leave at least three sets of leaves on the length of the stem for healthy growth. When harvesting, pinch off the stem directly above the next set of leaves. Fresh basil will keep for several days at room temperature, with the stems in a glass of water; if refrigerated, it tends to wilt and turn brown. Basil also freezes and dries well. Since the water content of basil is very high and it can mold easily, the best method for drying is a dehydrator, an oven, or a similar dry, warm location.

Seed Saving: After the flowers have finished blooming, the seeds will begin to develop. Harvest the clusters of pods when they turn brown, and spread them out to dry in a protected location away from direct sunlight. Thresh the heads to remove the seed, and clean out as much of the chaff as possible. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place.

Spicy Globe Basil

Herbs

Statements about medicinal use of plants have not been evaluated by the FDA, and should not be used for the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any ailment. Before using or ingesting any medicinal plant, consult a healthcare practitioner familiar with botanical medicine.

About medicinal herbs: Archeological evidence dates the medicinal use of herbs back 60,000 years to the Neandertals. 85% of the world’s population employ herbs as medicines, and 40% of pharmaceuticals in the U.S. contain plant-derived materials. Fewer than 10% of higher plant species have been investigated for their medicinal components. Interest in traditional herbal remedies continues to grow.

Herb culture: To substitute fresh herbs for dried in cooking, use triple the dried quantity called for in a recipe.

Drying herbs at home is not difficult. Whole leaves retain their flavor at least a year.

Some herbs are customarily grown from divisions because they cannot come true from seed, such as scented thymes and flavored mints. Some require fall sowing of fresh seed, such as sweet cicely and angelica, and these become available in August or September.

Takinagawa Burdock and Resina Calendula, as well as oats, mammoth red clover and alfalfa in the Farm Seed section, also have medicinal uses. Medicinal herbs such as black cohosh and goldenseal are available as plants, and shipped with Trees in the spring.

Spicy Globe Basil Plants: How To Grow Spicy Globe Bush Basil

Spicy Globe basil plants are short and compact, reaching only 6 to 12 inches (15-30 cm.) in most gardens. Their attractive round shape makes a great addition to the sunny flower bed or herb garden. The flavor of the basil ‘Spicy Globe’ herb is different from most basils, adding a spicy kick to pasta dishes and pestos. It is easy to grow and regular harvesting encourages more growth.

Information about Basil ‘Spicy Globe’ Herbs

Just what is Spicy Globe basil, you may ask. Ocimum basilicum ‘Spicy Globe’ is a member of the basil family that is usually grown as an annual herb. If you keep an indoor herb garden during winter, you may include this basil, as it is actually a perennial plant. The taste is more spicy than other basil varieties and is at its best when used fresh.

Growing Spicy Globe Basil

If you wish to grow this herb outside, plant seeds when temperatures are consistently in the high 40’s to low 50’s (4-10 C.). Plant in soil lightly amended with compost and cover no more than 1/8 inch. Water lightly so as not to dislodge seeds from their planting spot. Keep the soil moist until you see germination, and thin when seedlings are about ¼ inch.

Spicy Globe bush basil grows quickly when conditions are right, planted in full sun and getting adequate water. Morning sun is most appropriate for this basil plant and afternoon shade is most appropriate during hot summer days.

A half-strength feeding is appropriate when plants are established, but some say fertilizer affects the basil taste. With this type of basil, you will likely want the full taste experience, so limit feeding to those plants that appear to need a little boost.

Growing Spicy Globe basil is one of the more easy and fun herbs to grow. Keep the interesting round shape with regular harvesting of the small dense leaves. Basil varieties love the heat, so expect an abundant summer harvest.

Use it in vinegars, salads, and Italian dishes. You may even use a few leaves in desserts. If you have extras from the harvest, dry it or put it in a sealed bag in the freezer.

Spicy Globe Dwarf Basil

DWARF SWEET BASIL

Annual (10 in/25 cm) Approx. 26,000 seeds per oz/28 g

This particular strain Spicy Globe (ocimum basilicum minimum) was selected from a much more vigorous small leaf type. Unfortunately growers will always experience a small percentage of off types or taller plants until further selection and back crossing is done. Spicy Globe is a favorite strain of bedding plant growers. It is very compact and maintains its mounded growth without pinching. As a bedding plant it maintains its appearance well (minus taller rogues) in flats, paks, pots or 804 trays. It grows very fast from seed to sale in 804’s or about 10-11 weeks in 4 in/10 cm pots. Flavor and fragrance of Spicy Globe is the same as regular basil.

CULTURE: Sow Feb. 20th – Mar. 15th for May sales. Seed is smaller than regular basil so you should be able to sow 16 flats (20×12 in/51×31 cm) @ 600-700 seedlings per flat with an ounce of seed. Germinate at 70°F/21°C soil temp. for 8-10 days. As seedlings appear, lower greenhouse temperatures to 50°F/10°C to promote slower growth. Keep growing area well ventilated and treat plants once a week with a fungicide to control damping off. Never use ice cold water to water the plants. ‘Transplant seedlings carefully at the same depth as they were in the seedling flat.

DIRECT SEEDING: This is possible outdoors in early May. Transplant 3 weeks after germination. Plants should mature in 70 days. Thin seedlings to 8 in/20 cm apart.

What’s the Difference Between an Herb and a Spice?

© Paul Knott/Fotolia

The use of herbs and spices can be found as far back as prehistoric times, often as valuable forms of currency in trade. The seasonings have also been used for medicinal properties and as preservatives in food storage. Many spices have been found to contain antimicrobial properties that thwart the growth of bacteria. You probably use some herbs or spices daily, but do you know the difference? The terms herb and spice are often used interchangeably, but they are in fact two distinct types of seasonings, made from different sections of plants and processed in different ways. So what are the qualities that distinguish an herb from a spice?

Let’s use cinnamon and oregano as examples. Cinnamon is a powdered spice that can be made from the bark of a few different trees that fall under the genus Cinnamomum. Spices like cinnamon are made from the aromatic seeds, bark, flowers, and roots of plants that have been dried and crushed. Oregano, however, is an herb derived from the herbaceous oregano plant. Herbs are leaves, and although most come from herbaceous plants (plants that lack woody stems), a few do come from woody plants, such as bay leaf. Basil, rosemary, and parsley are often found in a kitchen’s spice rack but actually qualify as herbs because they are aromatic leaves.

Spices tend to be stronger in flavor than herbs, because they are made from crushed portions of plants that are especially rich in essential oils. Herbs can be found either fresh or dried, chopped or whole.

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