_ Susan Spicer, Bayona and Mondo, New Orleans_ "When you cook with lemon basil, people ask what it is because it's reminiscent of basil, but it's kind of unusual." Read the complete SAVEUR 100 story » See the complete list of SAVEUR 100 items ». Michael Kraus

Basil flourishes in the hot, dry weather, and so, at the height of summer, we’re tossing the bright green, refreshing leaves into everything we can. Though predominantly associated with Mediterranean cuisines, where it’s commonly ground into pesto, basil leaves can also be used whole, torn, or diced to add bright flavor to a wide range of drinks and dishes from around the world. From gelato to juleps, Thai fish custard to savory-sweet watermelon salad, pea soup, and more, these seventeen recipes let basil shine.

See 25 non-pesto basil recipes in the gallery »