Basil is a fresh, fragrant summer herb that pairs perfectly with tomatoes. There are many different varieties of basil, the most common are probably Genovese and sweet basil. Basil is best used raw or added at the very last minutes of cooking. Basil is also common in Indian and Thai cooking. Basil compliments Italian dishes well, but has many culinary uses. It’s even popped up in desserts and ice cream!
Thai Basil, Genovese Basil (above)
Basil can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, but the best way to store it is to place the stems in a jar or cup of water and leave it at room temperature. Wash just before using.
Remove leaves from stems. Wash and carefully pat dry with a kitchen towel or paper towel. Basil is best used raw in pestos, and added to tomato sauce and other dishes at the end of cooking.