The season's most versatile herb enlivens dishes from classic (pesto) to contemporary (sorbet?!). Use it with abandon.
Photo: Johnny Miller
A mix of Thai basil and sweet basil makes for a satisfying aromatic salad with no lettuce "filler." Cucumber and shallots offer a bit of crunch. If you can't find Thai basil, use whichever variety you can find. Look for explosively hot Thai chiles at Asian markets, or use serranos.