Making Basil Herb Oil

Making Basil Favored 0il allows you to preserve the fresh basil leaves and impart the flavor of Basil into your salad dressings, marinades, sauces for meats and vegetables and dipping sauces for warm, fresh breads, a favorite staple of Italian cuisine.

There are two methods for making Basil flavored oil that are simple to make at home without any specialized equipment. The hot Method utilizes low heat to infuse the herbs and the cold method uses time and sunlight. Both are effective, but the hot method makes the flavor more intense sooner.

Cold Method:

Equipment Required:

  • Salad Spinner or clean kitchen towels
  • Medium bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Large wide mouth jar
  • Good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh Basil sprigs
  • 1/4 or 1/2 dry measuring cups
  • 2 cup liquid measuring cup
  • Cheese cloth
  • Funnel

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Basil leaves
  • 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil

Method:

1. Pick the freshest herbs, wash and gently spin dry or blot between two kitchen towels to remove as much moisture as possible.

2. Place the Basil leaves in the bowl and crush slightly with the back of the wooden spoon to release plant flavors.

3. Pour half (1 cup) of the oil over the bruised leaves.

4. Stir and crush again slightly to release more of the plant oils.

5. Add remaining cup of oil and stir well to blend.

6. Pour into the large mouth jar and cap tightly.

7. Set on a sunny window sill for two weeks, shaking gently every day or so to mix the flavors.

8. Strain oil slowly through a double layer of cheese cloth set into a large funnel in the opening of a clean decorative bottle and cap tightly.

9. Add a few fresh sprigs of basil for decoration and identification purposes and label.

Storage:

Keep the flavored oils out of direct sunlight in a kitchen cupboard or pantry. Oils tend to go rancid if left in the sun too long. The shelf life of flavored oils is approximately six months.

Hot Method:

Materials Required:

  • Medium kitchen bowl
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Medium stainless steel or enamel sauce pan
  • 2 cup or larger liquid measuring cup
  • 1/4 or 1/2 cup dry measuring cup
  • Large wide mouth jar
  • Cheese cloth
  • Funnel
  • Decorative bottle

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of fresh chopped Basil
  • 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil

Method:

1. Wash and spin dry or pat between two kitchen towels to remove excess moisture.

2. Pick out tough stems and damaged or discolored leaves.

3. Trim and chop the Basil and measure 1/3 to 1/2 cup, depending on the intensity of the flavor desired.

4. Place chopped Basil into the bowl and crush slightly with the wooden spoon.

5. Pour one cup of the oil into the sauce pan and heat, but do not boil.

6. Pour heated oil over the crushed Basil in the bowl and stir with the wooden spoon to mix well.

7. Slowly add remaining oil into the bowl and stir to mix.

8. Once cooled, place in the large mouth jar and seal tightly.

9. Place jar on sunny window sill for two weeks, gently shaking the bottle every day or so to blend the flavors.

10. Slowly pour the liquid a little at a time into a funnel lined with a double layer of cheese cloth set on the top of a clean decorative bottle and cap tightly.

11. Add a few fresh sprigs for decoration and identification and label, including the date.

Uses:

Flavored oils can be used in almost every recipe that uses oil, from meat, poultry or fish marinades, sautes, sauces, and salad dressings.

Storage:

These oils will store up to six months in a dark cupboard or pantry.