Basil oil is perfect for those times when you want a hint of basil but don’t want to overpower the flavors of summer’s ripest batch of corn or tomatoes. Try drizzling it over just-grilled bread, tossing it with steamed green beans and sea salt, or pouring it over a cold summer, soup, like gazpacho.
1 cup mild olive oil
2 cups tightly packed sweet basil leaves
Put the measured oil in the refrigerator while you prepare the basil. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Have a bowl of ice water ready. Blanch the basil leaves in the boiling water for about 10 seconds. Remove them quickly with a strainer and dunk in the ice water, swishing them around to be sure they’re all cold. Remove from the water and squeeze gently to remove the excess water.
Roughly chop the basil and put it in a blender. Add the oil and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt; blend until the basil is puréed. The mixture will be very frothy. Let the purée settle for about 30 min. Strain through a cheesecloth- lined fine strainer, very gently pushing on the solids to extract the oil. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to a week. For the best flavor, let the oil come to room temperature before using.
nutrition information (per serving):
per 1 Tbs.;
Photo: Scott Phillips