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Food & Entertaining

Making Basil Oil

Issue: February, 2009
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Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add 4½ ounces of basil leaves with stems removed to the pot; cook 30 seconds. Remove basil and place in an ice bath to shock. When cold, remove and squeeze dry. Purée basil in blender or food processor with ½ cup olive oil. Let stand an hour to allow flavor to steep; then strain through a very fine mesh strainer. Basil oil will keep 2 to 3 days. This method also can be used to make flavored oil with other herbs such as cilantro, mint, parsley or chives.
    Basil oil can be used alone on a salad of fresh greens or added to salad dressing. Drizzle it over prosciutto and melon, or top tomato or another puréed soup with swirls of basil oil. You can also try it over steamed vegetables.

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