Basil Leaves health benefits includes supporting healthy brain, managing arthritis, managing stress, slowing down aging, supporting bone health, managing epilepsy and aid metabolism. Other benefits includes relieving post menstrual syndrome, providing energy, preventing cancer and supporting eye health.

Red Basil Pesto

This is a version of a pesto recipe that will work just as well with red basil pesto as with green. I’ve used pecan nuts, which I think work well with the more bitter flavour of the red basil, but you can use pine nuts as in traditional pesto, if you prefer.

2 cups fresh basil leaves, green or red
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup pecan nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

Toast the pecan nuts lightly over medium heat until golden. Be careful not to burn. Leave to cool. Blanch the basil leaves for just a few seconds in plenty of boiling water, then rinse and cool in an icebath. Dab the leaves dry on a clean teatowel. They don’t need to be superdry, just not soaking wet, so they water out the pesto. Place all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer the basil pesto to clean glass jars, and pour over a little olive oil to cover, then seal. The pesto will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Red Basil Mojito

For a twist on a traditional mojito…

7 or 8 sprigs fresh red basil
1 ounce Simple Sugar Syrup
1 lime, cut into wedges
Ice cubes
2 1/2 ounces silver rum

Add red basil and simple syrup to a highball glass; muddle well with a muddler or wooden spoon. Add limes and continue to muddle until well combined.
Fill glass three-quarters full with ice. Add rum and serve immediately.