Basil is one of the most popular herbs used in cooking today. It’s an extremely versatile herb that’s very prevalent in Italian, Thai and Vietnamese cooking, and is also widely used in many other parts of the world. There are a plethora of basil varieties — most are very aromatic with a mild, but distinct flavor. It can be subtly sweet and peppery, with notes of citrus. Basil is commonly paired with tomatoes, and is often served raw in salads such as the classic Italian Caprese, or cooked into a rich tomato sauce for pasta or other hot dishes. Basil is also the star ingredient of traditional pesto sauce.