I don't always time things right when it comes to grocery shopping. I'll plan on making a simple Caprese salad but I might only pick up tomatoes & mozzarella and totally space on the basil. Other times I might have remembered the basil but totally forgot the mozzarella & tomato situation. When that's the case, I take the basil that might soon spoil and turn it into something else like pesto or better yet- BASIL INFUSED OIL.
So when I have a surplus of tomatoes & mozzarella and no basil....I'm all set.
Sometimes I have all three and the addition of basil infused olive oil elevates a simple Caprese into something...STELLAR.
And we're off!
It all starts with really good Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Fresh Basil. I used to grow basil at our old house and hope that by next summer we'll have our gardening situation figured out. So if you have a surplus of basil from your garden, you should preserve it in oil. It's fantastic. It's also really rewarding to have a jar of something you made sitting on the kitchen counter.
Most recipes call for whirring olive oil & basil in the food processor. This technique will produce a much greener looking oil. I felt like using my mezzaluna this day. I wanted to feel like I did some work. I wanted to actually smell the basil and get my hands dirty. Like I always say...chopping is therapy.
Chop the basil and mix it with the oil. Put it in a saucepan and put it over medium high heat.
Take it off the heat after it simmers ever so slightly, let the basil steep.
And then strain it right into a jar.
And what we have is basil infused olive oil.
It's perfect on a Caprese salad and exceptional on an arugula & avocado salad.
It tastes green and super summery.
I imagine that it's fantastic if you add it to a grilled sandwich, drizzle it on popcorn, eggs and pasta or maybe we should dunk a baguette in some?
WAIT! Imagine it on this already herby ricotta bruschetta. Oh lordy.
yields 2 cups
- 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Chop basil finely. Place basil & oil into a small sauce pan and heat over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let basil & oil steep for at least 30 minutes. Strain mixture into a jar and keep in an air tight container for up to 1 month.