It’s Basil Week!

If I had to choose just a few herbs to have in my kitchen, basil would definitely be on my short list of herbs to have available.  Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow both indoors and out, and is also considered the “ premiere culinary herb”.

As a Personal  Chef,  I use basil in tons of dishes, and my clients especially love it when I use basil or other fresh herbs from my garden.  Basil combines very well with rosemary and thyme in meat dishes, fish, vegetables, cheese, soup and eggs and is also one of the main ingredients in pesto, along with pine nuts and parmesan cheese.



The basil photos you see are from my spring/summer garden. I’m growing  Sweet Genovese Basil which is excellent in Italian dishes, but is also good  in many other things.  One of my favorite things to enjoy basil in is smoothies, believe it or not.

Speaking of smoothies and basil, I recently had an amazing “BASIL BOMBSHELL” which is the name of a smoothie I get from Luca’s on Sunset in LA when I am visiting my daughter.  As a matter of fact, I was just at Luca’s this past Saturday with my best chef Buddy and partner in crime,  Chef Sevilla Riley and my daughter Adrienne. I think this was close to my 10th visit there with Adrienne for either a smoothie or some other healthy drink. Luca, in the photo below is the owner and is so down to earth.  Luca  makes everyone feel welcome. If you enjoy a delicious healthy smoothie, check out Luca’s when you are in LA. I told Luca I would send him a shout out.  Here’s a link with a list of smoothies and other drinks. They will also let you choose other things in your drinks and they have healthy options.


Stop by, ask for Luca , and tell him Sandra and Adrienne sent you!


There are well over 60 to 100 varieties of basil; however, they all fall into three main types:  sweet, purple and bush.  Each offers a subtle difference in taste; and varieties such as lemon, anise, and cinnamon basil give you can easily modify and enhance a recipe .  It only takes a few leaves to transform a simple dish – even a sandwich.   I am in the process of discovering many more varieties and plan to grow a number of other varieties.  I’ve had great success with Thai Basil too.

If you are a basil lover like me, then you’ll really like this site with photos of many varieties of basil.


Basil is also considered one of the healthiest herbs.  Of course best when fresh, basil exudes a sweet, earthy aroma.

  • Skin and Hair Health – When used as a skin and hair moisturizer, the essential oils of basil enhance the luster of dull looking skin and hair. Basil is also effective in treating acne and psoriasis.
  • Basil is full of Vitamin K which is essential for blood clotting
  • Also includes iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C and potassium
  • Vitamin A – which contains beta-carotene, powerful antioxidants that protect the cells lining a
  • Immune System – evidence shows that the antioxidants and volatile oils in basil make it of great assistance to the immune system.
  • Topically – basil leave may eliminate bacterial infections, while enjoying basil in food can help combat viral infections, including colds and flu.
  • Digestive tract health – anti-flammatory food providing important healing benefits as well as relief from inflammatory bowel conditions.  Can also provide immediate relief from the gas in your stomach and intestines, treat constipation, stomach cramps, indigestion and flatulence.
  • Bone and Connective Tissue
    The essential oil of basil contains a liquid called eugenol, which can inhibit the activity of cyclooxygenase, an enzyme which causes swelling in joints and bones among other places. Aspirin and ibuprofen work by blocking the same enzyme. This enzyme-inhibiting power makes basil an anti-inflammatory food that can heal and give relief for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Easy Basil Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe

10 Varieties of Basil and Their Uses

I hope you enjoyed my basil journey.  Stay tuned for more garden adventures.

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