One herb that I almost always have on hand is basil. This fragrant, versatile green plant is perfect for adding a punch of flavor to a wide variety of dishes, from pad Thai to pizza. Plus, it’s a great source of magnesium, vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids.
How to choose it
Look for basil that has vibrant green leaves that are free of black spots. If the leaves look wilted or dull, choose another bunch. Make sure the stems aren’t moldy before you put the basil in your shopping basket.
How to use it
Basil is a popular ingredient in Italian dishes, so add some leaves to pasta, sauces and soups for added flavor. Making a batch of pesto is a great way to make sure your leftover basil doesn’t go to waste. You can also go the sweet route and add basil to baked goods, like these lemon-lime basil cookies. Or, toss a few leaves in a glass of lemonade for a refreshing summer treat.
How to store it
You can store basil in the fridge, but it keeps best at room temperature. Trim the stems and place the bunch in a glass of water out of direct sunlight. Cover the leaves loosely with plastic wrap or a plastic bag. Your haul should last for at least a week.