Basil Oil

5 Oct

Here is another preserving job to do in autumn to capture the flavours of summer before the first frost. Basil is a delicate herb, it does not freeze well and it does not keep its flavour when dried, it goes slimy if left too long in oil so the best way is to infuse oil with its aromatic flavours and then strain it. The infused oil is a great treat through the winter months on salads or drizzled over soups.

You don’t really want to wash the basil so its best to be careful when you pick it. Pick the basil a day or so after a good rain in the morning of a dry sunny day. Bring the basil into the kitchen and roughly shred it, or bruise it slightly in a large mortar and pestle to release the oil. Pack the basil into a large sterilised glass jar, fill the jar to over half way and pour oil over to fill to the top. Push down and make sure there are no are bubbles. Seal and leave the jar to infuse for 2-3 weeks before straining into clean jars.

TIPI find the best way to strain the oil is to use a coffee filter paper set in a funnel. It takes some time to drip through but just keep topping it up. Bottle immediately and store in a dark place.

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