It’s starting…while strolling through the farmer’s market yesterday; I was pleasantly surprised to find the first stand of heirloom tomatoes for the season. Yes, it is really too early for tomatoes but these are hothouse and organic so I gave them a try and surprising they were sweet and delicious. A perfect lunch for me is a sitting in a sun-drenched room, drizzling some good olive oil over a ripe tomato with basil. While devouring every last morsel of my red orb, I thought that I had enough basil to try to make my own basil oil. It’s a perfect accompaniment to my endless appetite for tomatoes and a condiment for so many other things such as foccacia, grilled meats and salads. I think you get the point. The options are really endless. So how easy is it to make, you ask? It took me the time it takes to boil water plus 10 minutes. Quick and easy.
Yields: 1-1/2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
- 1 large handful (approximately 2 cups) fresh basil, washed, trimmed of stems
- 1-1/2 cups good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. (You should fill the pan approximately ¾ full of water so that when the basil is added the water does not spill over the pan).
- Place enough ice in a large mixing bowl to fill the bowl. Add enough water to the bowl to make an “ice bath”. The water should have plenty of ice in it.
- Add basil to the boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes. No longer. Remove the basil and immediately place it in the ice bath. Let it sit in the bath for 5 minutes to stop the cooking process. Remove the basil and squeeze dry.
- Now this step can be done with a knife or I prefer a food processor for ease. Chop or pulse the basil until it is finely chopped. If using a knife, place the basil in a bowl with the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and mix well. If using a food processor, add oil and blend well. Add lemon juice and continue to blend well.
- Using a strainer, strain the liquid into a measuring cup. Press the liquid through the strainer to extract all the liquid.
- Pour into your favorite oil container.
- Serve with your favorite dish
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