7 Bold Basils to Grow at Home
Easy-to-grow basil will thrive in a sunny window or garden spot. Try different varieties so you can experiment with adding lemony, peppery or even cinnamon-like flavor to dishes.
Because fragrant, versatile basil is so easy to grow, it's a summer staple for many home gardeners. With roots from Greece to Thailand, basil varieties range from sweet to spicy.
The bold, summery flavor of Genovese basil stars in many pesto sauces. Try pesto on pasta, pizzas and as a sandwich spread.
Thai basil is a touch spicier than its other basil counterparts, but it stands up well to heat and cooking, making it a top choice for Asian-inspired vegetables and soups.
Lemon basil's flavor mimics that of lemon zest. And like lemon zest, it pairs well with creamy pastas or fresh fish.
Opal basil's mildly spiced flavor and rich violet color make it great to use atop bruschetta or as a cocktail garnish, where the color and flavor can truly stand out.
Bush Basil (or Spicy Blobe Basil)
Bush basil has a compact growth pattern that makes it perfect for container gardens or indoor herb gardens. Also called Greek basil, it adds a peppery zing to hummus or tzatziki sauce.
Lime basil's lime zest flavor is just as versatile as lime zest itself. Add it to marinades for grilled chicken, flavor a syrup for cocktails or infuse a sorbet.
Like its namesake, cinnamon basil has a distinct spicy note. Cinnamon basil pairs well with fresh fruit. It can add a cinnamon-y note to fruit smoothies or be a fragrant garnish for summery desserts.