Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Basil: Beyond Pesto

 My garden is overflowing with basil.  I've made pesto and frozen it for the winter months when  I'll savor the flavor for pizza and pasta.  I found some other ways to use the flavorful herb.

These crispy, buttery cookies are flavored with lemon zest and sliced, fresh basil.  The basil essence is delicate and a nice contrast to the piquant citrus.  

The high yield of basil in the garden enabled me to make Basil Oil.  
This basil-infused olive oil was simple to do. 
Large bunch of basil leaves.
1/2 cup light virgin olive oil
Wash and dry basil leaves and layer them in a flat dish.  Cover with the oil and place a layer of cheesecloth over the dish. (to protect from bugs and dirt)  Leave the covered dish in the sun for 6 hours.

 Strain the oil 3 times through a strainer lined with several layers of damp cheesecloth.  Do not press down on the solids. Funnel the oil into a glass jar and refrigerate.  

This flavored oil is great for dipping bread, salad dressings, marinades and finishing a dish.   Give it a try.  It couldn't be easier.  

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