Basil is the perfect herb for pasta, tomato sauce, and chicken. The flavor of sweet basil is almost addictive and there is little that a bit of basil can't improve. Known as a tomato's best friend, add basil to salads, soups, fish and vegetables. Basil is a wonderful addition to meat and poultry as well. Add basil toward the end of cooking for the strongest flavor. California basil is a little stronger than French basil, due mainly to better dehydration technology, and is the basil of choice for Italian and American cooking. French basil has a bit of anise flavor many people enjoy.