The Inadvertent Gardener Rotating Header Image

Purple haze

Purple hazeAmong the seeds I planted outside this month included Purple Dark Opal Basil from SeedSavers, a variety I selected because a friend grew it last year. She served it up at a garden party, speared with halves of yellow and red pear tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, and the contrast of colors sold me. I knew, without a doubt, that purple basil would be on the agenda for this summer.

I planted the whole packet in a pot, and then left it to germinate with the rest of my seeds. Then, one day, I walked outside and looked down.

There it was. A carpet of purple skimming the surface of the potting soil. Unlike in my other pots, where a seedling might just be grass or something else that arrived by way of the potting soil, there was no mistaking the arrival of the purple basil.

9 Comments on “Purple haze”

  1. #1 Jenny
    on May 12th, 2007 at 8:42 am

    Dear Genie:

    The dish you described sounds like these wonderful individual caprese “salads” I saw that were served by putting a cherry tomato, a small ball of fresh mozarella, and a basil leaf on a skewer and drizzling it with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Of course, I saw a picture of it this winter and haven’t felt like the tomatoes (or the basil, for that matter) have been caprese salad-worthy up to this point. I am definitely going to try it this summer. I almost think the skewers would be better without the vinegar–just a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkle of coarse salt. Sadly, my attempt will definitely not involve purple basil–for those of us who aren’t gardeners, we have to stick with basic green.

    Hope you have a good weekend.


  2. #2 inadvertentgardener
    on May 12th, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Hey Jenny — I totally agree with you. Olive oil and coarse salt…end o’story! I definitely recommend trying it, with green or purple basil — either way is truly wonderful. I also applaud your patience on waiting to try the salads — I have yet to meet a winter tomato that was worthy. Have a good weekend, yourself! (And hi to the guys…)

  3. #3 Hanna
    on May 12th, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    That does sound like a tasty dish. Maybe, I will wander out to get some purple basil too. :)

  4. #4 inadvertentgardener
    on May 12th, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    Hanna, I highly recommend it. Too bad you aren’t nearby — I’d be happy to try to transplant a seedling for you, if I could!

  5. #5 Seeing red « Seeded
    on May 14th, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    [...] do my research. I planted Hopi Red Dye amaranth. Can you see where this is going? I was jealous of Genie’s purple seedlings the other day (and thinking I needed colors other than brown and green around [...]

  6. #6 kate
    on May 14th, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    Your purple basil plants are adorable. The way you describe using them sounds delicious. I love purple-leaved plants … and to be able to eat them is even better.

  7. #7 lucette
    on May 14th, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    I love the color of purple basil. I always make a couple batches of pesto with it–the color is intense.

  8. #8 inadvertentgardener
    on May 17th, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    Kate, I love them, too. Can’t wait to use them…

    …perhaps in pesto, per Lucette’s suggestion. Lucette, I love that idea!

  9. #9 No purple for you « The Inadvertent Gardener
    on Jun 4th, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    [...] options including baby parsley, baby mint, baby dill, lavender out the wazoo and even green basil, my purple basil alone fell victim late last week to a leaf [...]

Leave a Comment