The most common type of basil is Italian, but you can also get Thai, Cinnamon, Spicy, or Purple Basil. The leaves, flowers and stems are all edible. Leaves and flowers are great for garnishing, and all parts are good for pesto.
Fresh basil is sensitive, so use it as soon as you can. Fortunately, it’s delicious with most anything!
Store on the counter (not the fridge) for a day or two in a glass of water, like cut flowers.
Or, hang it upside down in a place with good air flow. When it’s dry, remove and crush the leaves and store in an airtight container indefinitely.
Like many sensitive leaves, basil is best eaten fresh or barely wilted.
To quickly chop, stack the leaves, roll them up, and slice the roll. Use as a garnish for stir-fry, salads, or ice cream. It’s also tasty in mixed drinks.