For certain recipes, particularly long-cooking soups and sauces, I turn to dried basil. But I prefer to work with the fresh stuff whenever possible, ripping it with my fingers, chopping it finely, or slicing it into thin ribbons to release its fragrant oils. In recent years, I've become particularly enamored with basil's sweet side, pairing it with deep-flavored fruits like strawberries and peaches for desserts and cocktails. With that in mind, I developed a basil-plum compote to serve over slices of grilled pound cake. The sweet stone fruit benefits immensely from a hint of vibrant, herbal flavor—together, they make a syrupy, complex compote that would also be delicious spooned over ice cream, yogurt, or granola.