Saturday, September 12, 2015

How Does My Garden Grow: Summer Basil Oil


In life there is a struggle for simplicity.  We rarely achieve it.  There are moments we catch glimpses, or experience short bursts that bring a full appreciation of what life might be like if we knew how to live simply.

If you follow my blog you know, I feel most centered when my hands are in the dirt or my mind and body are in my kitchen.  Nature provides to us free of charge, incredible flavors, colors and textures.  When food is prepared closest to how nature intended it is “simply” the best. 

In north Florida summer stays late.  It stays long past its welcome but there are gifts to be enjoyed as the long days begin to wind down.  This means summer herbs are abundant, and if you are growing basil, it is at its peak.

One of the best ways to reap this gift of nature is to preserve your summer basil with a good olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and a few good grinds of cracked black pepper.  What is created is a intensely fragrant and flavored oil that is a perfect addition to soup, roasted vegetables, vinaigrettes and marinades. It also makes for a perfect gift to share with family and friends.





Photo from driftless organics
Basil Oil Recipe
Makes about 3/4 cup
Recipe from Epicurious


Ingredients
1-1/2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup olive oil

Directions:
Blanch basil in a medium saucepan of boiling water 10 seconds.  Drain.  Rinse under cold water.  Pat basil dry with paper towels.  Transfer to blender.  Add oil; puree until smooth.  Transfer to small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.

Note: Can be made 3 days ahead.  Cover and chill.  Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before using.

Enjoy!


26 comments:

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Oh, your basil oil looks sooo good. We weren't able to plant much basil this year (got back to late and it was all gone) and I sure miss it. We have a few strangler plants, but none as pretty as your bouquet.
sam

Rhodesia said...

Mmmmm this sounds very good. Hope all is well Diane

Angie Schneider said...

I don't know why I hardly had any luck with basil plants..your basil oil looks fantastic.

Julie said...

Beautiful. I've never tried making this before. I should, before the basil is gone for the season.

Tina said...

This is one good thing about the never ending summer temps, herbs are bountiful. That is truely a great idea, basil oil.
Ok, you have inspired me to get the blender out 😀

Catherine said...

Dear Velva, This would be so very delicious spread on so real good bread. xo Catherine

lisa is cooking said...

I always wish I had even more basil growing than I do. I really think I could use endless amounts of it. Love this oil! Such a beautiful color.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I need to do something with my basil soon before it's gone! This looks wonderful. I wonder if it can be frozen and turned into pesto later?

Rambling Tart said...

This sounds absolutely marvelous, Velva!! My friend Oma does something similar with parsley. Mmm. You talented ladies, you. :-)

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...

I never blanched my basil first. The person I learned from years ago didn't blanch it and I haven't. As soon as the basil is over the top around here, I'll try your method. Yum.

Tricia @ Saving room for dessert said...

This is brilliant - thank you so much :) I will miss my basil when the cold arrives.

Rebecca Subbiah said...

must try this

grace said...

yum! every time i go outside for some basil, i get a little bit sad that the plants won't be around much longer. this is a great way to preserve that flavor!

Barbara said...

I've made this...and yes, it freezes. Love that color...love the flavor. Simple is always best, isn't it? Love reading about your garden. Velva. Don't have one any longer, but sure do remember!

Chris said...

Jealous! We didn't get an herb garden this year because of our puppy "adopting" that area as his front yard hang out spot. He pretty much crushed up everything but the tarragon, don't know why he let that one live.

Catherine said...

Dear Velva, The summer simply went too fast! I seem to always be running behind trying to catch up and get in the swing of things.
The end of summer basil is something I will surely miss. This is a great way to keep it and it makes everything taste so good.
xoxo Catherine

Sue/the view from great island said...

I love this!! It's such a nice change from pesto, and I could be happy just eating it with a spoon :)

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

This is such gorgeous writing Velva! And I agree, the best way to hang on to summer is to preserve its bounty!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I add salt and pepper to so many things…why have I not thought of adding it to basil oil. Thanks for the suggestion.

Roz Corieri Paige said...

I loved how you expressed your feelings and thoughts about your pursuit of simplicity in this post, Velva. You write so beautifully! And I couldn't agree more about finding simplicity in the dirt and in the kitchen! I've never made any flavored oils before and have been wanting to do so for a long time now. Using basil as a starting point sounds perfect to me! Thank you for sharing this and inspiring me Velva!

yung@foodyoo.com said...

Great! Never try basil oil before, sounds good to serve with roast chicken. I like to use chopped basil mix with light soy sauce as a dipping sauce for chicken. :)

Spicie Foodie said...

Beautifully written. I live in the tropics so my basil is still going growing like crazy. I love the idea of making it last longer with your basil oil recipe. Thank you for sharing!

Bam's Kitchen said...

So bright and vibrant! I can think of a at least a million different ways that I could use your delicious basil oil!

Kitchen Riffs said...

We've been away on vacation, and got back to several basil plants that look like small bushes! So I'm going to be playing with basil this week. ;-) Your post couldn't be more timely -- thanks so much!

Red Couch Recipes said...

I had to leave behind my pickle crock that I used to grow basil in. It was the perfect container to grow it in. My basil is looking sickly this year. Yours looks lovely, and we are hug fans of basil in the summer. Joni

OMG! Yummy said...

I have one basil plant without much left but maybe just enough to try this idea - I just love it - would be so perfect with my fall and winter soups!

Great meeting you at BlogHerFood this past weekend in Chicago. Looking forward to staying in touch and enjoying a virtual friendship until we meet again ...

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