Ocimum basilicum purpureum Purple Dark Opal Basil (200 Seeds approx)
is somewhat more intensely flavored than sweet basil and also has that wonderful color. The flavor intensity asks that you use a bit less of the purple than the green for any dishes you currently include basil in. Steeping purple basil in distilled or white wine vinegar will color the vinegar a rich reddish-purple. A member of the mint family, native to India.
• Add chopped purple basil leaves to salads with yellow tomatoes for a rich color contrast and sympathetic flavors.
• Drop some chopped purple basil leaves into the cooking water for cauliflower to tint it a slightly pink color and add good basil flavor.
• Steep purple basil leaves in white wine vinegar to extract both color and flavor - put leaves in a bottle, fill with the vinegar, seal and hold in a dark place for a few weeks.
• Add a few finely chopped purple basil leaves to mayonnaise or sour cream to serve with other foods. Hold overnight to get the richest color.
• Substitute purple basil for the green basil in pesto and use it as a pasta dressing or spread on grilled bread slices
• Garnish richly-flavored chilled soups like gazpacho or avocado soup with purple basil
• Add chopped purple basil leaves to marinades for poultry or pork to flavor and color the meats
• Add coarsely chopped purple basil leaves to tomato soup and sauces immediately before service as a colorful garnish and flavor intensifier.