Fresh basil is one of the few herbs that "neither steals the show nor fades into the background," as Dorie Greenspan writes in her ode to basil in The Wall Street Journal, which includes recipes for a twist on the classic caprese salad — made with black plums in place of tomatoes — and a sweet avocado-basil cream topped with fresh fruit.
Basil has been admired since ancient times, when it was used to ward off dragon attacks, cure scorpion bites, and attract women (when worn as a hair accessory, naturally). The usual Genovese basil is just one of basil's many flavors; try Thai basil for an anise kick, or lemon basil with fish.
Dorie's recipes also include a corn, crab and basil salad, roasted salmon with basil tapenade, and a chilled zucchini-basil soup that sounds like summer in a bowl.
• Check it out: Basil & Friends at The Wall Street Journal
How do you like to use basil?
Related: Easy Pitcher Cocktail Recipe: Strawberry Basil Margaritas
(Images: The Wall Street Journal)