If you’ve ever grown basil at home, you know that to keep your basil growing all summer long, you just need to pinch off the flower buds when they start to appear. Sadly, on the farm, they do not have the luxury of going through the fields and pinching off thousands of basil flower buds by hand. Stores won’t buy herbs with flowers, which means is that after the basil harvest, the fields are littered with tons of flowering basil leaves, sadly drying up in the sun. We recently partnered with Jacobs Farm to source their flowered basil and so we want to tell you a few reasons why you may fall in love with flowering basil this summer.
- Flowering herbs embody a no-waste approach to food. It’s hard to plan around the life cycle of plants, and herbs really illustrate this. Hotter than normal weather makes herbs grow and start to flower much quicker than farmers anticipate, narrowing the already narrow window when they can pick them. Now, instead of writing off flowered herbs as waste, you can make a delicious statement of acceptance.
- Flowering basil is still useful in the kitchen. While basil produces less of its seductively aromatic oils after it starts flowering, it is still full of its delicious basil flavor. With so much pesto to make this summer, we can’t think of a good reason why we wouldn’t want to utilize every ounce of aromatic goodness that basil brings to the table.
- Basil is a refreshing and versatile herb. Getting to deliver fresh herbs like basil is a real treat for us because we know how exciting they are to cook with. We love basil or its refreshing character and for the wonderful cooling notes that it brings to a dish. Some of our favorite uses for basil include pesto (can’t top a classic!) cherry tomato salad, and basil lemonade for sipping on hot summer days!
- Flowering basil is beautiful. Let’s not over complicate things. The wonderful irony of working with “ugly” produce is that we get to deliver some of the most beautiful plants on this planet like our rainbow carrots, romanesco, and kiwis. Flowering basil certainly fits the bill and a few sprigs of its aromatic flowers will make your summer salads and crostini truly gorgeous and memorable.