The season's most versatile herb enlivens dishes from classic (pesto) to contemporary (sorbet?!). Use it with abandon.
Photo: Randy Mayor
If regular Italian–or Genovese–basil is all you can find, it'll work fine. However, it's worth searching out a few varieties, such as purple, Thai, or lemon basil. Using a mix of varieties improves the salad by adding visual interest and nuanced flavors. If you can't find hanger steak, substitute flank instead.