Basil is undoubtedly the most loved and popular herb in Italy. Although we tend to associate it with Italy and other Mediterranean countries, it actually originated in India, and was brought to the Mediterranean via the spice routes in ancient times.
Most of the time, Basil should be used fresh. In recipes it is generally added at the last moment. Cooking it quickly destroys the meal. The fresh herb can be kept for a short time in plastic bags in the refrigerator. Using a freezer will allow for it to be kept a longer time. In both cases, it needs being blanched quickly in boiling water before use.