Sweet basil, the most widely used variety in cooking, comes from the Lamiaceae (mint) family. While it’s originally native to India, basil can be commonly found in Italian cuisine. Its sweet, slightly minty, and subtly peppery flavor is the perfect complement to sauces and pasta dishes. Add a hint of basil at the end of cooking because heat deteriorates its signature scent and flavor.
Both Mediterranean and Asian cuisines rely on this special herb to flavor their dishes. Pesto is a savory oil-based sauce used in pasta and pizza recipes that utilizes this herb. Marinara sauces cry out for ample quantities of this flavoring. One of the simplest summertime recipes is to slice fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, sprinkle with the herb, and then add a bit of good-quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Asian rice salads and fish recipes often benefit from the addition of this succulent herb. Dried Basil Leaves are sometimes added for a piquant counter taste to ice cream and other desserts.
Common Basil, Sweet Basil