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Basil Purée

Martha Holmberg

Yield: Yields about 1/2 cup purée.

Blanching the basil before puréeing it will help the herb retain some of its bright green color. The purée gets layered with slow-roasted tomatoes in the Tomato Confit, Basil & Goat Cheese Terrine for a stunning appetizer. If you like, reserve the basil-infused oil that drains the the purée to garnish the finished terrine.


  • 3 cups lightly packed basil leaves (about 2-1/2 oz.)
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch salt


  • Fill a medium bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the basil for 20 seconds. Dunk the basil in the ice water for a few seconds. Drain well and gently squeeze out excess moisture with towels. Put the basil in a food processor (a mini one works well) with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Purée well, adding more olive oil if needed to chop finely. To drain the excess oil, put the purée in a coffee cup or a custard cup lined with a paper coffee filter or cheesecloth for 15 to 20 minutes.


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