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Basil Blossoms

diablo Jul 26, 2008 05:20 PM

My basil has blossomed. I plan to make pesto with the majority of the plant, but wondered if there are any ways to use the blossom besides garnish.

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  1. maria lorraine RE: diablo Jul 26, 2008 06:56 PM

    You seem to be implying that the basil plant's life cycle is over when it blossoms.
    Far from it. If you pluck the blossoms, it sends a signal to the plant to produce more foliage, which is want you want. Attentive de-blossoming and that basil plant could last a long time.

    P. S.: The flowers don't taste good.

    9 Replies
    1. re: maria lorraine
      duck833 RE: maria lorraine Jul 26, 2008 07:42 PM

      Thanks for the tip Maria!!! I just went out and de-blossomed my basil crop, probably have 50-60 nice plants in the herb garden.

      1. re: maria lorraine
        brendastarlet RE: maria lorraine Jul 27, 2008 07:56 AM

        Yes, they do. I grow globe basil and Thai basil, and use the blossoms all the time, in salads, pasta, for marinades. If they're large blossoms, I'd chop them up a bit, but otherwise use them as a garnish. You also can pick the stems and make a kitchen bouquet -- a nice little fragrance.

        1. re: brendastarlet
          maria lorraine RE: brendastarlet Jul 27, 2008 02:29 PM

          brendastarlet (very nice Chowhound name), your basil blossoms must be tastier than mine. Mine taste pithy and, well, like nothing. I toss 'em on the weed pile.

          1. re: maria lorraine
            brendastarlet RE: maria lorraine Aug 1, 2008 07:40 AM

            It might be the variety that I am growing, because mine taste a little nutty and add a nice texture. The traditional Italian basil may not taste the same.

          2. re: brendastarlet
            margaret31 RE: brendastarlet Aug 26, 2011 11:06 AM

            Thanks for the tip to make kitchen bouquet. We love the smell of basil. I have some mesh bags that will work wonderfully. Through the winter, we can squeeze the bags & enjoy.


          3. re: maria lorraine
            diablo RE: maria lorraine Jul 27, 2008 07:59 AM

            Huh. I had no idea. I'm going to deblossom right now. Too bad the flowers don't taste good. They are pretty as garnish, though. Thanks so much for the info! Very, very good to know!

            1. re: diablo
              diablo RE: diablo Jul 31, 2008 04:43 PM

              I just wanted to update. I deblossomed on the date of this last post and lopped off the top leaves at the node (the stem part of the plant where you see two small new leaves coming in) to make pesto. The regrowth since then was enough that I couldn't even tell where I had cut a few days ago when I used the same plant for Ensalada Caprese tonight. Thanks again maria lorraine. You rock!

              1. re: diablo
                maria lorraine RE: diablo Jul 31, 2008 07:19 PM

                Thank you. I have my good moments. Thanks for the growth report.

                1. re: diablo
                  annomy RE: diablo Aug 23, 2012 05:09 PM

                  thanks, diablo, it's always nice when someone comes back for a thank you on a tip!

            2. t
              torty RE: diablo Jul 31, 2008 05:52 PM

              Yes, definitely pluck the blossoms so that your plant continues to push out new leaves. I take the giant mass of blossoms, just barely cover with olive oil, warm up on stove top so that oil is warm, but no where near simmer/bubble. Taste about every 10 minutes with a dip of bread (or spoon oil onto bread). When you are getting a good basil flavor, let cool, strain and enjoy as a lovely dip for bread and veggies. Refrigerate leftovers, bring to room temp to get liquid for next round.

              2 Replies
              1. re: torty
                sunshine842 RE: torty Aug 26, 2011 11:44 PM

                that's probably the best idea -- get the flavor, and you don't have to deal with the woody texture.

                1. re: torty
                  rabaja RE: torty Aug 23, 2012 06:07 PM

                  This is such a good idea! Wish I'd read it befor I topped all of my basil plants two days ago!

                2. Gooseberry RE: diablo Aug 1, 2008 03:16 AM

                  I use the basil petals (not the green part at the bottom), and find they have a pleasant mild basil fragrance. Great with egg dishes, although my favourite has to be rosemary blossoms. Especially the blue ones. So pretty...

                  1. The Chowhound Team RE: diablo Aug 1, 2008 07:31 AM

                    Hi -

                    Sorry for the interruption, but we've removed some gardening tips that are beyond the scope of Chowhound. Please help us keep things on-topic by focusing on how the OP can use basil blossoms in recipes.


                    1. AlizaEss RE: diablo Aug 26, 2011 11:37 AM

                      I was trying to keep up with trimming my basil blossoms for a while but they are growing way faster than I can keep up with them! So I'm wondering if maybe I won't just let the plants go to seed and then experiment with making basil seed drink: http://www.google.com/search?q=basil+...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: AlizaEss
                        magiesmom RE: AlizaEss Aug 27, 2011 04:41 AM

                        you will limit your leaf production and the new tender leaves are the best.

                      2. Karl S RE: diablo Aug 23, 2012 05:24 PM

                        As a general rule, for foliage herbs (that is, when you primarily want the leaves), you should always de-flower assiduously before bloom, as the leaves often become less balanced in flavor after bloom.

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