If you’re not familiar with herb oils, they’re one of the best ways to preserve their fresh taste. With basil being one of my favourites I use it a lot – including much making of classic basil pesto throughout the entire season – and this is my first time to make a basil oil.
Green is good!
We all know that things fresh & green are good for us, and among the health benefits of vitamins and minerals, basil also contains disease fighting antioxidants. Fresh, pleasantly pungent taste and health benefits in an easy to make oil! Yes, please.
Easy as 1, 2, 3!
- a 10 second blanch of the basil to set the colour…
- drain and dry the basil…
- blitz with oil…
Fresh & Seasonal = Good Eats!
When ingredients are in season, their freshness speaks for themselves. It’s also the time when ‘simplest is best’ really is true; when you start with fantastic ingredients they don’t need a lot of messing around. Having the oil on hand means you can add pops of flavour and colour to many savoury dishes. Add some to your salad vinaigrette, drizzle on ripe summer tomatoes or use to finish pasta or pizza! Anywhere you’d use basil and or oil, you could add some to really pump up the volume on flavour, and colour!
We eat first with our eyes…
Just by looking at that colour you know it’s going to be full of flavour, and goodness for your bod! With the recipe using extra virgin olive oil, it will solidify somewhat in the fridge – olive oil is not winterized! No probs though, just let it come to room temperature before using.
Mine may have come out thicker that it should’ve… in my excitement I might have added too much basil, but that’s ok with me. If and when I do want to use it and have it thinner, I’ll spoon some out into a small bowl, and whisk in a little more oil. Easy. Nice.
If you cook any Italian style food at all, like I do, this will be indispensable to have in your kitchen. I’ve used it twice already, including last night spooning some into linguine with cream sauce for a twist on basil pesto. Not only did it add that great colour, it was delicious with the fresh hit of basil. Buon appetito~
Do you have a favourite herb oil you make, or perhaps another method to preserve their summer freshness…? Do tell us in the comments below if you do.
Basil Herb Oil
- 1 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- Pinch salt
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Blanch basil in medium saucepan of boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove to a sieve and rinse under cold water. Drain.
Pat basil dry with paper towels and transfer to a blender or small food processor.
Add oil and the salt & pepper, puree until smooth. Transfer to a small glass bowl or jar with a lid.
Cover and chill.
Can be made a few days ahead. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before using.