Choose leave that are fresh, unspotted and fragrant. Wrap leaves in slightly damp paper towels and place in plastic bag or put stems in a glass of water (change water every few days), then cover with a plastic bag and secure. Refrigerate.
Wash and remove leaves from main stems. If a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of dried basil, double the amount for fresh basil. Throw a handful of basil leaves in an ordinary salad and your taste buds will rejoice. Sprinkle sliced tomatoes and slices of mazzarella with basil, oil and vinegar for an appetizer. Put the mixture on French bread, then broil for a teasty bruschetta.