Fresh basil is one of our favorite parts of summer. It's herbal, refreshing and remarkably versatile. It can liven up a pasta sauce or salad, even a cocktail or dessert. There's pretty much nothing that basil can't hang with, which is why it should be you go-to herb from here on out.
While we typically use just a few varieties -- the sweet Italian kind, known as Sweet Genovese; Thai basil, most often used in Asian cuisine; and Purple Opal basil, a fun addition to cocktails -- there are actually more than 60 types of basil to choose from.
To get the strongest basil flavor, add fresh leaves in at the end of your cooking (though that may vary with the recipe). However you use it, don't be shy. Experiment with adding basil to recipes you might not think to use it in. We promise, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Here are 34 ways to make the most of fresh basil this summer.