Lemon Basil

lemon basil organic culinary herbs Colorado

Lemon Basil (Ocimum × citriodorum) is a hybrid between Basil (Ocimum basilicum) and African Basil (Ocimum americanum)).

It is a herb grown primarily in northeastern Africa and southern Asia, for its strong fragrant lemon scent it is used in cooking, essential oils.

Lemon basil has stems that can grow to 3' tall. It has white flowers in late summer to early fall. The leaves are similar to Basil leaves, but tend to be narrower. Seeds form on the plant after flowering and dry on the plant.

'Lemon basil' has a strong lemony smell and flavour very different from those of other varieties, because it contains a chemical called citral. It is widely used in Indonesia, where it is called kemangi and served raw, together with raw cabbage, green beans, and cucumber, as an accompaniment to fried fish or duck. Its flowers, broken up, are a zesty salad condiment.

BRUSCHETTA WITH TOMATOES AND LEMON BASIL
An amazing appetizer or party food.

½ loaf sliced good crusty bread (either baguette or large round loaf)
4 (or more) plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
Extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, cut in half
1 package lemon basil
Salt to taste
Heat broiler or grill (rack must be at least 4” from heat source). Brush one side of the bread with olive oil and rub the garlic into the bread. Sprinkle with a little salt. Broil or grill the bread until lightly browned. Turn over and continue to cook for 1 minute. Spread diced tomato on top and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with torn lemon basil leaves.

FETTUCINE WITH GRILLED CHICKEN AND LEMON BASIL
Serves 6

1 lb. fettucine or pasta of your choice
3-4 boneless chicken breasts
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 package lemon basil, chopped or cut in chiffonade
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook pasta and drain. Meanwhile, grill chicken breasts (which have been brushed with olive oil) and let rest 10 minutes. Cut chicken breast in ½” slices on the bias. Toss pasta with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped lemon basil and serve immediately.

LEMON BASIL TAPENADE
This spread from the South of France is a natural on grilled bread or pizza, or as a stuffing for chicken breasts.

1 cup pitted black Niçoise or Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped lemon basil
3 tablespoons chopped capers
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
Place olives, garlic, basil and capers in a food processor. Pulse a few times until the mixture becomes a rough paste. Place in mixing bowl and add lemon juice and pepper. May be stored in refrigerator up to one week. Bring to room temperature before serving.

QUICK FRESH TOMATO SAUCE WITH LEMON BASIL
Perfect for quick and tasty meals. Serve over chicken, pasta, tofu, fish or rice.

3 ripe red tomatoes (the best available), peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 package lemon basil
Heat oil in fry pan. Add garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds to a minute, being careful not to brown. Add tomatoes with their juice. Season and cook for 10-15 minutes. Add chopped basil and serve immediately. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to one week.

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