We eat a lot of pasta in this household and I make my own passata sauce for the winter months. It seems a pity then not to carry on this theme and take further advantage of this wonderful abundant lush herb by making an oil that can be drizzled over pasta, pizza, used in salad dressings, used generally as a base to frying onions massaging into chicken - and the flavour ummh!
Its all about flavour with me at the end of the day and I find the more I make of this the more I have to make. After all it is the simple things that have the most impact and take things to a whole new different level on the taste front. I make at least a couple of batches of this per year (I nearly always double up on the recipe when I am preparing this. I tend to stock pile the oil in advance usually when it is on offer so usually have several bottles to go at prior to making this] This is a nice way of making something simple when you don't have much time which will add to the variety of your own battery de cuisine.
You will need one medium sized preserving jar with a rubber seal
1 large bunch of basil leaves or if buying those herbs in pots from the supermarket at least one pot
1 x 500ml bottle olive oil
Sterilise your jar out with boiling water and baby sterilising tablets, then wash out the jar again with boiling water.
Strip the basil leaves from the stalks and tear the basil leaves then put it into the bottom of the jar until all the basil has been used (this is a very organic recipe and you use how much basil you want to*see note below)
Add the olive oil
Seal the lid and put somewhere cool for the next three weeks to macerate and for the basil leaves to scent the oil. Do not leave the basil leaves in any longer than the three weeks in one go.
Strain the oil off the basil leaves I use muslin and then bottle into sterilised bottles and store the oil in a cool place such as a pantry or in the fridge.
Use decadently through the winter months to bring the taste of summer into dark days.
*(the sterngth of the oil is up to you - if making it to this recipe the basil strength can be increased if it is not strong enough for your palate by simply removing the leaves first used to macerate in the oil and replacing them with a second batch)