Fresh Lemon Basil
Choose 1, 2, or 5lbs
Available Year Round
Fresh lemon basil (aka hoary basil, kenmangi) is often used in North-East African and South Asian cuisine to flavor savory dishes, but chefs are also experimenting with it in sweet applications. It has a flavor similar to Italian basil, but additional strong lemon-like flavor and odor.
Lemon basil microgreens are also available.
All basil varieties are best stored wrapped in paper towels, placed in a zip top bag, and kept in the warmest part of your refrigerator (frequently near the light).
For long term storage of lemon basil we recommend freezing whole leaves individually following the instructions in How to Freeze Better at Home, then moving them to an air-tight container in the freezer for long term storage. Freezing will likely make the basil go limp and damage its color, but should preserve its flavor.
Up to a week fresh, several months frozen.
RECIPES & TIPS
Although it is traditionally used in Laotian, Malasian, Thai, Persian and Moroccan dishes, lemon basil can be used to flavor any dish where its lemony flavor would be appropriate (including creamy desserts like ice cream). Like most other basil varieties, lemon basil is best used raw or added near the very end of the cooking process to protect its flavor.
Try using it to bring bright lemon flavor to your pesto recipes without using lemon juice (which will ruin conventional pesto’s color).
All basil varieties are very delicate, and bruise easily. As such, we recommend using the leaves whole, tearing them, or using a chiffonade cut.