When I purchased a basil plant at the market this summer, I told the farmer that I had already killed two of these plants, so if he had any advice on keeping it in good health, I would be greatly appreciative. “Don’t let the flowers grow,” he told me. I think that they take energy from the plant, and in turn, the leaves don’t grow as nicely. For a few weeks there was no problem, just big tasty leaves that I plucked one by one and two by two to add to plates and recipes.
One day, I spotted the cutest little white flower bud opening up on the window sill. I was ready to pick it, but stopped. How sad to pick such a lovely little thing, scented so sweetly of basil! What a waste! After a moment’s contemplation, I decided that there was only one solution that could give justice to the little beauty, and save my plant too. I picked the bud and placed it on my tongue. Mmm… basil and flower.
So for the rest of the summer, little white flower buds of basil have garnished a number of dishes, and here is one of them. Are you familier with radis noir?
Black radish is crunchy and refreshing, just as red radish, but with a sporty prick to the tongue. The skin is thicker then that of red radish, so I peel it. I like to serve it as a crudité salad, with a bit of salt, olive oil, and whatnot.
Recipe for Black Radish and basil flower crudité:black radish balsamic vinegar fromage frais or cottage cheese fresh basil leaves and flowers freshly ground pepper
Peel and thinly slice the radish. Place on tiny amuse-bouche plates. Place a spoonful of fromage frais next to it and pour a spoonful of balsamic vinegar on the fromage frais. Garnish with fresh basil, flowers, and pepper. Serve and enjoy!