Wondering what to do with the abundance of fresh basil this time of year?  I love to make basil infused olive oil and drizzle it over heirloom tomatoes, grilled eggplant, fresh mozzarella and broiled fish.  I also serve it as a dipping oil with crusty bread, or toss it with any grilled veggie for a flavorful side dish.  It’s the essence of summer, concentrated into a simple oil. 

Basil Infused Olive Oil

1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
¼ cup olive oil

Bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil and blanch basil for 5 seconds.  Drain and immediately plunge into ice water.  Once cooled, remove from water and pat leaves dry with paper towel.  Puree basil with olive oil in a food processor.  Season with salt and pepper.  Strain the basil oil through a fine mesh strainer and discard basil remnants.  Pour oil into a jar, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  Basil oil will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 Photo Credit:  Lisa Barber