You may, or may not, have heard the term ‘finishing oil’ before. Finishing oil is a well flavored oil used at the end of a recipe to ‘finish’ the dish. If you’re a fan of basil, then you will love this finishing oil. This basil oil can be used to finish soups and salads or use in a pesto. I’ll be using to finish my recipe for zucchini and sweet potato soup later in the week.
Infusing basil into oil is a bit more involved than making rosemary oil. There you can just drop some rosemary sprigs into a light oil and it will infuse over time. With basil oil there are a few more steps.
After blanching the basil, you need to immediately transfer to a ice bath to stop the cooking process and to also seal in the green color.
Now onto making the oil. The basil goes into a blender or food processor (I used my food processor) along with the oil and it is pureed until liquid and vibrant green. You can drizzle in more oil until it’s the consistency you want. This is when you add the salt. I like the addition of the salt, it just brings the flavors together.
Now here comes the slightly messy part and the rewarding part. You need to strain the mixture through a fine mess sieve. I strain the oil into a pouring jug, that way it makes it easier to transfer to the bottle for storing. The oil can be kept for up to 1 week in the fridge.
- 4 oz fresh basil leaves
- 1 3/4 cups grapeseed oil * see note
- Small pinch of salt
- Fill a large bowl with water and ice (this is to cool the basil quickly after blanching (boiling).
- Lay paper towels on a large plate or baking sheet (to drain the basil).
- Heat a deep sided skillet or large saucepan of water over high heat to boil and reduce to a low simmer.
- Add the basil leaves and blanch for 2 minutes, transfer to the iced water and leave for 1 minute.
- Take the basil out of the ice water and drain on the paper towels.
- Add the basil and grapeseed oil to a food processor or blender.
- Blend until the mixture is fully pureed.
- Using a fine mesh sieve, strain the mixture into a jug.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
* I like to use grapeseed oil has no flavor. I tried the recipe with extra virgin olive oil and the taste is too strong. Also, when you blend olive oil, it does something to the polyphenols (antioxidants that turns it bitter)
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 90 Sodium: 1mg