The basil in the CSA Share boxes, has really made me feel like it’s finally summer! The packing and washing area smelled amazing this morning as the crew brought in fresh basil and fennel for this week’s shares. You might have noticed our basil comes in huge bunches! Basil is best used within a few days, and making this oil for salads and pasta dishes is one of my favorite ways to use basil while it’s still very fresh. It’s also great in pesto, of course. This is a very easy recipe that will take just a few minutes to make. Basil oil should be good in the refrigerator for 7 -10 days (let come to room temperature before using), and can also be stored in small portions in the freezer.
2 cups of olive oil will yield a pretty big batch of basil oil, so feel free to cut this recipe in half for a smaller batch. Remove basil leaves from the stem, discard stems. Wash and thoroughly dry basil. The best tool for this is a salad spinner, but if you don’t have one use a strainer and dry the leaves between towels and paper towels. Get the leaves as dry as you can for the best flavor. Blend the basil leaves and oil together in a blender or food processor.
Transfer the oil to to a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat after 45 seconds. Strain oil through a mesh strainer, don’t press the mixture through the strainer, just let it drain through. Tap the strainer if necessary.
2 cups olive oil
4 cups basil leaves, washed and dried
Puree basil and oil in a blender or food processor. Transfer to a saucepan, then bring to a simmer over medium heat. As soon as the saucepan reaches a simmer, let simmer for just 45 seconds before removing from heat. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Store basil oil in a jar in the refrigerator for 7 -10 days or freeze in smaller portions. Drizzle over salads, add to pasta, as a dipping oil for fresh bread, and more.