Homemade basil oil

I recently received a trio of spectacular olive oils as a gift–one of which was infused with basil.

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Basil is perhaps my ultimate addiction. I want it on everything, and lots. I’m currently confronting the seriously upsetting reality that my own basil plants are not thriving, and supplementing with weekly bunches from the farmers market is a must. (I have also taken to noticing other people’s luscious, bushy basil plants wherever I go, not without tremendous envy). With my extra basil from the market, I’ve been making ice trays upon ice trays of pesto. I hadn’t considered basil oil until uncorking my bottle and trying a splash on my favorite summer salad. Immediately after the first bite, I knew the bottle wouldn’t last long and I’d need to figure out how to keep myself in basil oil without breaking the bank. Turns out, it’s really easy to make. I made my first batch this weekend, and test drove it on my regular salad. It was perfect.

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I used 1.5 cups of plain, good quality olive oil and 1 cup of chopped fresh basil, packed. That’s the ingredient list. Pour the oil into a pan and add the basil. Let it simmer very gently for about 5 minutes.

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After the 5 or so minutes of gentle simmering, pour the oil into a container and let it cool about 30 minutes.

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Then, strain the oil through a mesh strainer into another container. Voila–basil oil.

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This is the quick version of my salad: raw corn sliced off the cob, canned beans, arugula, basil oil, lemon juice and salt. With the basil oil, you don’t need to add fresh basil leaves to the salad.

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