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Boxwood Basil

(credit:  Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - It was a new herb to me when I saw it growing at my friend’s house, but it’s well-known around the world; it’s called French Basil, or Greek Bush Basil, Spicy Globe Basil, or maybe the most common name it goes by is Boxwood Basil – because its tiny leaves look like a miniature boxwood bush; but it smells so much better. The leaves stay under an inch long and the plant grows into a nice globe shape, so it’s tidy in a planter or windowbox. Its little leaves are very tender and never get large and leathery like bigger basil, so you don’t even need to chop them up, just pick a few and toss them onto sliced tomatoes.

Put a bush basil plant in easy reach so you can sprinkle some onto grilled pizza or veggies after cooking. Or grab a sprig to stir into a nice refreshing beverage, basil goes great with lemonade, and adds a fresh twist to a mojito or martini.

It has an intense, slightly anise-y flavor, but as my friend Edward said, he couldn’t really care less if it’s edible or not – because by any name, (including its official Latin label, Ocimum basilicum ‘Minimum’) this little bush basil just looks adorable growing in a pot.

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