Posts Tagged ‘basil oil’

Simple LivingMy herb Earthbox is still coming along (update tomorrow) but my neighbor, who’s about five weeks ahead of me in his Earthbox garden project, is starting to see the fruits of his labors. This weekend, he brought over a bag of basil (a third of his take after thinning his plants).

So…what to do with a surprise bag of basil? Well, you could whip up some pesto, of course, but everyone does that. No, there was something new I wanted to try, something  I’d recently seen that intrigued me.

Basil oil.

Deep in color, I’d seen it used to dot the rim of a plate of sushi, and to lay emerald cabochons on the surface of a bowl of ramen.

I looked up a handful of recipes, and came up with a process that I tried this weekend. It may need some tweaking, but it’s pretty good. In this recipe, the basil hits the heat twice. First, it gets blanched, which breaks down the leaves for better pureeing, and second, the puree is heated to enhance both the flavor and add more of that deep green color. Unlike some simpler versions, I strain the mixture twice, so there aren’t little bits of basil leaves floating about in the oil.

Use it when you want a hint of that basil sharpness, but don’t want to overpower, or don’t want the actual leaves. Great as a garnish, or as an ingredient in sauces, dressings, and poaching liquid.


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