Farmers Market Update: SF Basil

by | Aug 1, 2010

We’re going to do something a little different this week.

Those of you who have been following me on Twitter or (redesigned site and moved to Squarespace!) know I’ve been really sick this past week. It’s weird, I haven’t been sick in years and years.

Anyway, being bed-ridden makes it tough to go to the farmers market and I didn’t have enough time to get a guest blogger from another city. Instead I’m going to share with you an article of mine that was recently published in Edible San Francisco, SF Superfoods: Basil. It’s about basil, so it’s kinda farmers markety.

I’m only giving you a little teaser here, but head over to read more about how to store and use basil, and the best places to find, eat and drink it here in SF.

SF Superfoods: Basil

by Darya Pino

Stroll through a farmers’ market at the height of summer and you’ll be tantalized by the sweet perfume of basil. This pungent herb brings a taste of the garden to summertime dishes around the city. Basil’s intoxicating aroma comes from several different essential oils, many of which show up in other herbs, including mint, clove, and anise. The unique scent of each basil variety—there are over 20—is represented by a specific ratio of its different aromatic components.


Basil is most commonly associated with Italian cuisine, but is also a popular herb in Southeast Asia. Sweet Italian basil is bright green, usually has large leaves, and has a sweet, clove-like flavoring. Genovese basil is the most popular cultivated variety, particularly for making pesto, the traditional sauce of Genoa. Thai basil can be recognized by its smaller leaves and purple stems. It is more pungent and has stronger notes of anise and mint than does sweet Italian basil. Thai basil is popularly used in Thai stir fries, curries, and the Vietnamese noodle soup pho.


Basil packs one of the biggest antioxidant punches of any plant, boasting levels of phytochemicals much greater than found in most other herbs or even spinach and broccoli…


Sweet Italian basil can be found at local farmers’ markets during the summer…


Some of the best basil dishes are the simplest…


The restaurant Farina has perfected a classic Genovese pesto…

Continue reading…

I hope all of you are having a lovely weekend and are in better health than I am. Tell me what you got at the farmers market this weekend (Flickr links welcome) and I’ll live vicariously through you.


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5 Responses to “Farmers Market Update: SF Basil”

  1. baahar says:

    Get well soon !! Try drinking hollyhock (Alcea rosea) and coltsfoot/coughwort (Tussilago farfara) tea if your illness is related to the respiratory tract.
    Simply steep 1 teaspoon full of tea in 1 cup of water for about 5 minutes.

    And my fav remedy: 2/3 teaspoon salt + 1 cup water. Take a few pipette fulls of the mix through the nose several times a day

  2. I’m so happy to know basil is so healthy, as I feed it to toddlers several days a week for the past year. No wonder they never get sick! Hope you feel better soon.

  3. As I wrote on your personal blog – great article! Thanks for sharing Darya!

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