for this weeks "weekend herb blogging", hosted by ellie from kitchen wench, i wanted to make something with basil - isnt it just the best herb in summer?
if you are growing basil in your garden- here is a trick: dont just water your basil every day, make sure you spray the leaves with some water. make sure they get a little shower every day - it works wonders! and if you got loads of flies in your kitchen (you know, they always go where the good stuff is), place a pot of basil in front of your window - it will keep the annoying flies away.
basil itself doesn't need much to taste delicious. cut in fine strips it's the perfect secret ingredient for salads, tomato sauce, pasta dishes or simply the number one herb for an insalata caprese. the basil oil i am making is like a super-potent basil extract that not only looks amazing (look at the green!) but also tastes wonderful and keeps for a very long time in your fridge. it does take some time and patience to make, but it is a deluxe basil oil that is so much more fragrant than the basil oils you get in supermarkets - which are mostly just infused and not actually pressed with basil.
RECIPE, adapted from tanja grandits aroma
100g basil, leaves plucked
about 200ml olive oil
blanch the basil leaves for about 10 seconds in boiling water and chill in ice-water. then squeeze out as much of the water as possible. purée the basil leaves with the olive oil until basil is very fine. cover and let infuse in the fridge over night.
prepare a coffe filter and let your basil-oil mixture drain. you can gently push a rubber spatula into the mixture to speed up the process. (careful - coffee filter is wet and fragile! - you dont want all the puréed basil in your oil!)
fill into a reservoir bottle and keep in the fridge. take out of fridge about half an hour before using.