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If you’re watching your basil with anticipation, this recipe might give you something to do with it beyond just tearing into salads. Green oils – or blended oils, like this one, are so useful to have in the larder. It’s a neat little chef trick that makes any dish look fancier, without too much fuss or cost. Olive oil is too strong to use on its own in an oil like this, so I prefer to go half and half with a neutral oil to soften it, so as to let the basil aroma shine.
1 cup of tightly packed basil leaves
½ cup of neutral oil (grapeseed is my preference)
½ cup of olive oil
Place a medium-sized saucepan of water on the heat and bring to the boil. Pick the basil leaves. Fill a medium-sized bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Pop to the side.
Once the water has come to the boil, blanch the basil leaves, strain, and quickly add into the iced cold water. Leave for a few minutes. Once cool, strain and squeeze out excess water from the leaves.
In a food processor or blender add the blanched basil leaves and oils. Blend on high until smooth and the oil has become a very rich green, about 3-4 minutes.
Once blended, let it sit in the food processor for 5 minutes. Pop a clean kitchen cloth or muslin in a fine mesh sieve then over a medium sized bowl or jug. Pour basil oil over the top to strain to help catch the basil leaf residue.
Gently strain – be patient! Don’t be tempted to push the basil oil through the sieve as this will make your oil cloudy.
Once strained, store in a clean glass jar and pop in the fridge. It will last 2 weeks in the fridge.
Drizzle over burrata, use in salad dressings, or as pop into a little bowl for dipping bread into.
Once you get the hang of blended oils, give this a whirl with other flavours – all of your herbs will work, as will roasted capsicum, and even roasted prawn heads (if you’re feeling especially cheffy!)