Friday, 22 February 2013

Make your own Basil Oil

When there is a glut of basil in our garden I ususally make pesto but last night I made some basil oil  for a change. It's very easy and you can use it in lots of different recipes.

For a roughly textured oil you can leave the little bits of basil floating in it after you have whizzed it. But I like the the smooth grassy green oil that you get if you press it with the back of a spoon through a sieve.

I happened to have some mutton cloth so I let it drip through that and then twisted and squeezed it till all the oil had escaped into a bowl. This also worked really well.

Basil oil could be used in a vinaigrette, mixed through pasta , or drizzled on tomato and mozarella bruschetta. I tossed mine through a potato, green bean, egg, and rocket salad  and added a squeeze of lemon juice, some crushed garlic and plenty of freshly ground salt and pepper.


1 1/2 to 2 cups  of freshly picked basil leaves.
1 cup of mild olive oil
salt to tast


Blanch the leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds.
Tip into a sink of cold water
Lift out with a slotted spoon onto a kitchen towel.
Squeeze the water out. (do this very thoroughly )
Whizz until the basil is very finely chopped ( I did this in bursts)
Use as is, or for a smooth oil pour it into a bowl through a sieve, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract as much oil as possible.
Add salt to taste

It can be used immediately or stored in the fridge for a few days.


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