How to Make Basil-infused Olive Oil


This was week 7 of my Red Fire Farm CSA. As hard as I try, I still find myself being challenged to finish everything in our weekly share. Part of the issue is that just two of us are eating it (the 5-yo’s contribution to noshing is minimal); that and the fact that I forget what’s in the fridge before it’s too late. Organic fruits and veggies, while the healthiest option, do no last nearly as long as thier chemical-infested competitors.

This week, I decided that I would clean, chop and/or cook as much stuff as I could on within a day or two of pick-up.

Week 7 CSA Share

1 head leaf lettuce
1 bunch rainbow Swiss chard
1 bunch baby beet greens
1.5 lbs zucchini
3 large tomatoes
2 Ailsa Craig sweet onions
A bunch of both regular and purple basil
6 ears corn
1 head garlic
2.5 pounds red and gold potatoes
1.5 lbs cucumbers

So, with the basil, I decided to make herb-infused olive oil. I have always wanted to do this but never got around to it. After I washed all the greens (giving some to our new Guinea Pig “Brownie”), I patted dry the basil and went to work on my little project:

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Basil and Garlic Infused Olive Oil

1 glass bottle or mason jar
2 cloves garlic (optional)
Approx 1 cup basil
3 cups olive oil

Peel the garlic and smash it with a heavy chef’s knife. Tear the basil, bruising the leaves to release the essential oils. Stuff the basil and the garlic into the bottle or mason jar.

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Pour the olive oil into a heat-proof pot or dish and place over a low flame — I used a large, glass, Pyrex measuring cup. Heat the oil until very warm, but not bubbling. You’ll know it’s getting close when the oil’s texture appears to “thin”… you’ll sort of see “swirls” in the oil as this happens. DO NOT let it boil!

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Once heated, pour the oil over the herbs and cover.

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Let stand in a cool dark place for about 1 week. After, strain the oil — removing all remnants and store in a cool dry place; if you chose to include garlic, keep the oil in the refrigerator to avoid Botulism.

Let me just say that this smells INCREDIBLE. I literally would take a swig out of the jar if I didn’t think I would puke after! I cannot wait to try this out in a week!!! 

You can really do this with just about any herbs; rosemary, chives, taragon and oregano would all be delicious. You can add hot peppers, dried mushrooms or other seasonings. The possiblities are really limitless.

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