If you only have room to grow one basil plant, make it ‘Genovese’; this variety is the best for making pesto and bruschetta, dropping into tomato salads and more. Video: See how to make pesto
Glossy green leaves make showy garnishes, too. The plant thrives in pots, and makes a pretty edging in herb beds. All zones as an annual; zones 13-17, 19, 23, and 24 as a perennial.
Leaf production stops when flowers come into bloom, so pinch out flower spikes as they form.