Hundreds of years ago, Genovese villagers selected this basil for making pesto. It features large, thick, deep green leaves on sturdy plants. Yes, you can make pesto with a food processor. But why not spend a half hour on some breezy, summery day making it the old-fashioned way—with a mortar and pestle? (Ah, now you know where that word comes from!) No time for pesto tonight? Not to worry: this variety is also the ideal basil for stews, soups, and sautes.