This basil oil, made simply from basil, oil, and salt, is what to do with that half bunch of basil languishing in the fridge. Instead it becomes perfect for dipping, dunking, and drizzling. Here’s how to make it.
Pondering what to do with the rest of that bunch of basil that’s been languishing in the fridge? You’ll be as grateful as we are for this basil oil. With just 3 ingredients and 15 minutes of effort, you can salvage the basil and put it to lovely use as a versatile godsend of a condiment for drizzling over fish, chicken, steaks, pasta, crostini, cheese…we could go on. Any left? Mop it up with bread.–Angie Zoobkoff
- Fresh basil
- Good quality olive oil chilled
- Sea salt
- Bring a large pot of water over high heat to a boil. Have ready a large bowl of ice water.
- Pack the basil leaves into measuring cups, discarding the stems and any bruised leaves.
- Measure out half the amount of oil as basil in a separate measuring cup. (So if you had 1 cup basil leaves you would use 1/2 cup oil.) Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt for each cup of basil leaves.
- Dump the basil in the boiling water and quickly blanch the leaves just until wilted, 6 to 8 seconds. Dump the basil into a strainer, transfer to the ice water, and gently stir until cold.
- Strain the basil again and gently squeeze or blot it completely dry with paper towels to remove any excess water.
- In a blender, combine the basil, oil, and salt and blitz until smooth. Let sit for 30 minutes and then pour through a strainer lined with cheesecloth, pressing with a spatula or the back of a spoon to obtain as much oil as possible.
- Pour into a clean jar and cover. Use at once or refrigerate for up to a week, returning the oil to room temperature before using.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
What an easy and delicious way to preserve extra basil. It’s genius. So much so I’m going to try it with other herbs next time I end up with more than I need. The oil was quick to come together and I think having the oil chilled helped it emulsify and produce a richly flavored oil.
Mine had a really lovely vivid green colour, much better than came through on the photo. I spooned a little over some fresh tomato and mozzarella and plan to drizzle some over an autumn panzanella with roasted squash and toasted pumpkin seeds. I plan to douse it liberally on salads and pasta for as long as it lasts. I think it will work really well with a panzanella or caprese salad.
The recipe was easy to follow. I’m not sure blotting dry with paper towel is really effective. I gently squeezed the water out, and the paper towel didn’t really do anything better than a good firm but gentle squeeze could do. It also means less waste!
Originally published January 08, 2020
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
This basil oil is a great way to put all that basil in your garden to good use! This oil tastes fantastic and has a beautiful rich emerald green with a wonderful flavor.
I used 1 1/2 cups basil, 3/4 cup oil, and 3/8 teaspoon salt. I could have used a teensy bit less salt but otherwise it was delicious!
This is a seriously easy way to wow people at the dinner table! I drizzled it over fresh mushroom risotto and it was magical.