Some people might be afraid to choose a favorite plant, like they wouldn't want to choose a favorite child. I say, "Choose away!" because basil is AWESOME and totally my favorite, and I don't care who knows it. (Lulu is also the favorite child, just in case you were wondering.)
Basil just smells good, all the time. It makes any salad taste better. And you can make pesto. Pesto! (but that is another recipe for another day) I could really almost eat it by itself. I even used to wrap a piece of tomato and mozzerella with a leaf of basil, and called it a snack. Mmm...
It just says 'summer' to me; sure you can buy it year round, but grow it? Fuggitaboutit. Once TJ's gets in their $2.99 plants, I'm sold!
Today I made Chipotle Basil Corn Chowder, slightly adapted from (*you guessed it!) Vegan Yum Yum. Enjoy!
6 ears of corn, cut off of the cob
1 onion, diced
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder (they used a fresh one from a can, but only a teaspoon, and that's just too wasteful for my blood!)
5-6 small red potatoes, diced
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup basil, shredded
1/2 cup milk
3 cups water
1 bouillion cube
In a large pot, heat the olive oil, and saute the onions. Add the butter and stir. Add the potatoes, carrots, and chipotle. Then cut the corn off the cobs, and add that too. Pour in the water and add the bouillion cube. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until potatoes soften. Then carefully blend the soup in batches (in a blender). Keep some of it chunky if you like it that way. Stir in milk, remove from heat, and top with basil shreds.
Vegan disclaimer: This is not in fact vegan. If you would like it that way, use plain soy milk in place of the milk, and omit the butter. Butter is very tasty however, which is why I used just a little bit. :)