If you can keep a houseplant alive, you can grow basil. If you can't keep a houseplant alive....well, maybe you can keep basil alive. ha! I have confidence in you!
No garden spot for it? No problem. Simply create your own herb garden in planters or pots. Basil will do well in the ground but also grows beautifully in planters. It grows easily, it fills out fast, has a lovely flavor, and the fragrance is amazing. Basil is also wonderful indoors in a sunny window. It is a sun-loving herb so be sure you find a sunny warm spot for it.
You can jump in with both feet by planting several herbs or begin gradually. Basil is the perfect starter herb. It doesn't require a lot of attention and it grows quickly so you'll see the rewards in a short time. Basil will be visibly wilted if you don't water it enough so for those of you that can't keep a houseplant alive, basil has a built-in watering gauge.
Basil is bursting with flavor so it adds a punch to sauces, soups, meats or you can simply tuck a few fresh leaves in a sandwich or salad.
It's also a great herb to practice your pruning. Everyone needs to keep their pruning skills sharp right? Cut, or pinch, the herb just above a set of leaves. Two new stems will grow where you cut the original stem which will keep the plant producing plenty of foliage. If you don't prune basil often it will grow straight up and become a tall gangly top heavy plant.
Prune regularly or basil will begin to grow flowers. If your basil does produce flowers, pinch them off . You want your beautiful basil plant to focus on producing leaves not flowers.
When we were in Italy, several of our dishes had fresh basil leaves on them. One of may favorites is Caprese (sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil). It is such a simple dish but I just love it!