This basil, botanical name Ocimum selloi, which is very old though discovered by Texas gardeners only during the 1990s, is unusual in several ways. First, it is a cold-hardy perennial form of basil, and blooms frequently, which makes it very attractive to bees and butterflies. The plant, with its shiny green leaves, prolific and flavorful, prefers shady to sunny areas, which alone sets it apart from other basil varieties. Its complex chemistry, which has been studied in depth by plant chemists, is the source of its mix of basil and green pepper flavors. Its leaves dry and freeze well, and have become well-known in the gardens of basil-fanciers. In

addition, the plant is easily propagated by root division and cuttings and is quite happy in a roomy container. Water and fertilizer needs are similar to other basils.

Bell Pepper Basil Gremolata Recipe Courtesy of Chef Chris Crowder:

6 tbs. Bell Pepper Basil, chopped 6 green onions, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. crushed pepper flakes

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 2 tbsp. pecan oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over steak or pasta, or add to soup.

Written by The Arbor Gate The Arbor Gate staff enjoys contributing to the blog along with our talented writers. As much as we enjoy contributing to this blog, we are the first to admit that we're much better with a shovel than a keyboard!