Monday, August 24, 2009

When God Gives You Basil...

Make homemade basil oil!

I found a huge bunch of basil yesterday at the incomparable new Paramus Fairway Market and I remembered that Chef Avram Wiseman told me that if you buy basil in season and preserve it in a jar with extra virgin olive oil, it will deliver summer-licious taste throughout the winter. The oil's herb-infused goodness is hard to beat.

Take a clean jar and fill completely with washed and dried basil leaves. Make sure to get all the sand off the leaves. Don't be afraid to force the leaves down in there as space gets tight. Then, fill to the top with your extra virgin olive oil, cover and place in the fridge.

By the next day, the oil will smell and taste great and will be a beautiful way to add flavor to your pasta, vegetable and bread recipes. I used basil oil in my foccacia bread in culinary school, and it was amazingly good! You can use basil oil anywhere you would use extra virgin olive oil, to give sauteed veggies an extra layer of flavor, or in salad dressings, for example.

The oil will eventually solidify, but this doesn't mean it's gone off. Just take it out a half hour before you need to use it and it will return to the gorgeous green globs you want. You can use both the oil and the basil leaves in any kind of recipe. The color of the basil leaves will remain vibrantly green as long as they're covered with oil. Buon Appetito!

Basil on Foodista


  1. We love making this, although I think I have to make more this year. I followed your site from the foodieblogroll and it looks great. Love your recipes too!

  2. What a great idea for using up extra basil. It is a great alternative to the tons of pesto I am freezing to use up the bumper crop of basil from our garden! I am making some this evening!