Here’s another very popular post, originally from July 25, 2010. I shortened it a bit to focus just on the recipe. The original post talked about my CSA that week. I actually just got a load of basil in my current CSA this week, so this is perfect timing!
Just look at this… I’ve never seen basil like this before! It sorta looks like a type of Kale, doesn’t it??? I had three types of basil to choose from this week: this one, purple basil (which I’m already growing) and Thai basil, which I didn’t really have a need for this week. I picked the curly kind because it looked cool. Click here to read about all different types of basil varieties. This clearly belongs to the Green Ruffles variety.
With the basil I got through my CSA, 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:
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.
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!
Once heated, pour the oil over the herbs and cover.
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.
8/1/2013 UPDATE: I actually STILL have this olive oil! I’ve kept it in a cool, dark, place and it still tastes great! The best basil olive oil I have ever had….