Fresh basil can be combined with olive oil and garlic to make a pesto for salmon, bruschetta and pasta, according to The World's Healthiest Foods. Fresh basil can also be used with olive oil and onions in tomato soup, or layered over mozzarella cheese and tomato slices in salads.
Basil is a good source of magnesium and helps promote cardiovascular health by improving blood flow. Individuals can add basil to stir-fry with chili peppers, eggplant and cabbage. Basil tea can also be made with fresh basil by infusing chopped basil leaves for eight minutes in boiling water.
It is best to use fresh basil rather than dried when possible, as fresh leaves have a stronger flavor. When storing fresh basil, keep it wrapped in a paper towel that is slightly damp and store it in the refrigerator. It can also be stored frozen in airtight containers, either chopped or whole. Basil can also be frozen and stored in ice cube trays covered with stock or water; this is a great addition to stews and soups, says The World's Healthiest Foods. If using dry basil, store it in a tightly sealed container, preferably glass, in a dark, cool place. This should keep the basil fresh for about six months.