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Basil is widely used in Mediterranean countries, where it flavors everything from pasta sauces to pesto, and in Southeast Asia, where it's often stir-fried with other ingredients. There are numerous varieties, ranging from the more pungent Asian basils to the sweeter and milder European varieties. Use dried basil only in a pinch--it's not nearly as flavorful as fresh.

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1 tablespoon fresh = 1 teaspoon dried.


oregano OR thyme OR tarragon OR summer savory OR equal parts parsley and celery leaves OR cilantro (This works well in pesto.) OR mint (especially in Thai cuisine)
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