Wednesday, January 15, 2014

B is for Basil

I’ve done posts on basil before because it’s such a fantastic herb.  It’s so sweet and fragrant and it just exudes loooooovvvvve.  When I lived in Istanbul, some of the restaurants I visited along the Bosphorus placed pots of basil on the tables for decoration.   The leaves were very small and the shape of the plant was bushier than the basil we typically see here.   I had one, but my brown thumb killed it.  I may be a good cook, but I am a lousy gardener, as I’ve written before.

Basil is ruled by the planet Mars.  It carries the element of fire, and its energies include love, money, and protection.  (Cunningham, 1990).

Once upon a time in Malta, when a household had a young girl of marriageable age, a pot of basil was placed on a windowsill to let potential suitors know ‘here there be baebes’.  Or something like that.

A nice tomato-basil salad or soup are both great love dishes.  Eat pasta with pesto sauce to attract money (with proper visualization and real world steps, too, of course.) For purification and protection, add basil to citrus.   

The following recipe is part of a brunch menu for the winter solstice.  If you have a pot of basil in the kitchen, you have access to this lovely herb all year long.  If you don’t have fresh and do not wish to buy it out of season, I suppose half the amount of dried basil could be substituted, but I’ve not tried it.

I serve this salad with smoky duck and sweet potato hash with eggs, buttermilk biscuits, and spiked coffee.   What better way to warm up after a sunrise solstice ritual, right?

Citrus Fruit Salad with Sweet Basil Dressing
3 oranges, peeled and sectioned
2 mandarins or clementines, peeled and sectioned
1 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
1 ruby grapefruit, peeled and sectioned

Place citrus fruit sections into a bowl.  Mix gently to combine.  Drizzle with Sweet Basil Dressing. Toss gently.  Chill before serving.
Serves 4

Cunningham, S. (1990). Cunningham's encyclopedia of wicca in the kitchen. (p. 130). Woodbury: Llewellyn

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