I wonder if the forum could tell how to use this plant?
Put some stems in a bottle of white vinegar. It turns a pretty pink or burgandy. It makes a good hostess gift. Barb
Use it in exactly the same ways as you'd use the ordinary sweet basil. Just take advantage of its beautiful colour!
Slice carrots and steam until just tender, then cook with a little butter and cream over high heat for about 2 minutes or until the cream thickens slightly. Add purple basil leaves and black pepper to taste and serve with roast chicken.
Cut small zucchini in thin slices and toss in a little olive oil over medium heat until just tender but still crisp. Remove from heat and stir in grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste and scatter with torn purple basil leaves. Serve with grilled red meat.
Here is a link that might be useful: purple basil recipes
As daisyduckworth said, you can use it like any sweet basil, but finding ways to take advantage of the color are always great.
Last year we made a purple basil sorbet, which was great, though a bit unusual. It would make a great palate cleanser between courses of a meal, or it would work to serve a scoop of it in a bowl of gazpacho. Some people love it as-is.
We made a purple basil pesto, too, but it didn't hold its color as well as we'd hoped. The taste was great, but it didn't have the striking visual effect we were aiming for.
I think it would make a great Caprese salad with unusually colored tomatoes (like yellow ones, perhaps?) -- tomato slices, basil leaves, fresh mozzarella.
You can use it chopped in a fresh tossed salad like mesclun salad greens or a spring salad mix with a vinegrette dressing topped with fettuccine cheese.
You can also take a mushmelon, cut it in half, remove the seeds, take a melon baller and remove the meat inside. Mix the melon meat with 1 tbsp honey, grapes, dried raisins, sunflower seeds, fennel leaves, and basil leaves, and buttermilk ranch bottled dressing. Yum! Yum!
You can also do a chicken recipe. Soak 2 cups cooked chicken in one bottle basil vinegrette. 2 cups chopped paste type tomatoes, 1/4 cup chopped onions, 1/4 cup meditterean olives, 1 - 2 tblsp chopped purple basil. Mix everything together. Serve hot or cold
You can also do an onion, watercress, basil sandwich.
Here is a link that might be useful: greenhouseland
Totally agree on the colorful caprese: I like to grab a few leaves of purple basil and a few of green, and chop them up together. They make a beautiful salad.
I Also use it on burgers, hotdoggs, kabobs, sausages, or any meat sandwiches along with chives and parsley. Chopp them all up and sprinkle over those sandwich meats.In the middle east basil is used a lot with all kinds of kabobs. It is good for digesting fatty food and protein just like members of onion family, without onion breath.Actually basil, parsley, thyme, .. can hide garlic smell too.
Basil is best used fresh, not in cooking. Add it to your cooking during the last minutes.
PLEASE Can you all post closeup pics of your purple basils,?????
so I can see if they are like mine... Have so many volunteers.. Just wanna make sure that is what it is.....
I got a start from a local guy gardener via CL and volunteers came in like crazy...
Try google images.