Ocimum basilicum citriodorum and O. americanum

Lemon and Lime Basil
It is basil season already. Lined up on my windowsill are basils, including Lemon and Lime basil. When I was facing the problem of too many basil plants (I had grown about a dozen each of four kinds: Genovese (Sweet Italian), Thai basil ‘Siam Queen’, Lemon and Lime, and had purchased some of the irresistible variegated basil,) M. suggested that I keep some at home for the windowsill. It a very good idea, while I can still bring home quantities for pesto later in the summer, in the meantime we have plenty of fresh leaves right here. Mostly we use the basil in salad dressing, stir fry and pasta sauce. The most delicious way to enjoy them, though, is to shred the leaves and sprinkle them on fruit salad. Melon is particular is nice, especially honeydew, ‘San Juan’, ‘Santa Claus’ or Portuguese melons. Here is a link to a recipe for Marianated melon with Lime basil sorbet.
Last year I grew a huge amount of basil. In addition to the plants I had set aside for my garden, a few seedlings got mixed up so I couldn’t sell them, and I ended up planting them all. I enlisted Eileen to try to help me figure out which were lemon and which were lime and while we could divide them into two types, we could not tell say for sure which was which from the scent, taste or the plant’s appearance. Both smell really good.

Here are some sources for lemon and lime basil seeds:

Fedco Seeds
Baker’s Rare Seeds
Seed Savers Exchange

Here is a recipe I made up. It can easily be made vegan:

Citrus Basil Salad Dressing
1 T. vegenaise (or mayonnaise)
1 tsp. Djion mustard
1/2 T. Balsamico (or 1 T. red wine vinegar)
2 T. good Olive oil
1 T. packed, shredded, fresh basil leaves- lemon or lime basil if available
1 tsp. minced chives (optional)
A little salt and pepper

To shred the basil, stack up a few leaves, roll them together and chop into really thin slices. Wisk everything together in a little bowl. Makes enough for two salads. It’s really good with spinach salad with strawberries or citrus bits (mmm, grapefruit or blood orange), walnuts and bits of goat cheese. Or, add a few extra tablespoons of vegenaise and use as a sandwich spread or dip for veggies or pita wedges.

About Mulysa

I love my work as a landscape designer and artist. When I'm not planning homesteads or working in the studio, you'll find me hiking, photographing, gardening, baking, cooking vegetarian meals with friends, reading and working on sustainability issues...with my baby on my hip in Portland, Oregon.
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One Response to Ocimum basilicum citriodorum and O. americanum

  1. Eileen says:

    This salad dressing recipe looks wonderful, and the lemon basil in the garden is doing really well… liked the melon recipe too, and it’s also timely, as I’ve rediscovered melon for the season. I cut up a Gaia melon last night to have with black-bean chili, and it made a nice refreshing contrast to the chili.

    The raspberries are starting to ripen, and the rhubarb is still good — i see a rhuberry-raspbarb tart in my future…

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