Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the herb basil has a sweet, strong aroma and flavour. Fresh basil leaves add to the flavour of any vegetable, poultry, or meat dish. The versatile herb is also used in tomato and egg dishes, stews, soups, and salads.
To prepare wash fresh basil in cold running water to remove any dirt or pesticide residues. Sweet basil is added at the final moments in the recipes to keep its fragrance and flavor intact; since prolonged cooking results in evaporation and loss of its essential oils.