Makes about 1/3 cup Difficulty
3 cups packed basil leaves About ¾ cup olive oil
To make herb oil start by boiling a large pot of salted water. Place herbs in a strainer and dip them into the water until wilted or see below for a blanching time guide. Remove strainer from water and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water. Drain cold herbs and squeeze as dry as possible. Use scissors to cut them into small pieces (if you use a knife it can cause some herbs to oxidize and darken). Place herbs in a blender or food processor and add enough oil just to cover. Blend on medium speed and allow herbs to blend for a minute or so. If herbs aren’t turning freely, add more oil. Turn speed to high and continue to blend for 2 minutes. If your blender has a feeder tube or hole at the top, remove stopper so that some air can get it…you don’t want it to get too hot from the motion of the rotating blade.
Remove puree from blender and refrigerate for at least a day to intensify the color (the puree can be kept for up to 1 week in the refrigerator).
Place a piece of cheesecloth over a container and secure with a rubber band or kitchen twine. Place puree on cheesecloth and let the oil filter through for about an hour. Discard cheesecloth and remaining puree – do not wring out cheesecloth or you will cloud the oil.
Store the infused oil in refrigerator or freeze it for several weeks.
For a decorative touch, place the infused herb oil in plastic squeeze bottles for garnishing dishes.