Basil (vasilikos) means “royal” and the name says it all. if ever there was a regal herb, commanding yet delicate, perfumed yet brimming with character... it is basil.
Basil is the crowning herb of Greece. A member of the mint family, it flourishes in the sun, and so abounds in Greece. It grows as an annual, and comes in a number of slightly different flavors and colors, with leaves sometimes large, sometimes small, blooming as it goes to seed in spears of little white flowers. Greeks grow the herb in abundance pots and it sits on every Greek veranda. Basil is commonly used in today’s traditional Greek cooking with breads, vegetables, and meats. In Greek kitchens it is referred to as the secret ingredient.