Infused Basil Oil

Infused Basil Oil
Infused Basil Oil

This oil is a delicious kitchen staple in our house. Used as a bread dipping oil, poured onto fresh pasta or added to a salad dressing. The flavour is so intense and the aroma delightful.

We typically make a large batch of this each year. The steps below will make a small batch.

Fresh basil (see info on basil varieties below)
quality olive oil


Fresh Thai Basil

Begin with fresh firm basil leaves. Rinse in cool water and drain.

Fresh Mammoth Basil

Dry the herbs. You can hang herbs to dry, use a food dehydrator or if you have a warming drawer in your oven place a thin layer on a cloth covered cooling rack. The goal is the herbs need to be completely dry.

Weighing Dried Basil

Grind the dry leaves. The smaller the pieces the more surface area there is which helps to extract the flavours. Do not make a fine powder as that is too difficult to strain later in the process.

Weigh out 1ounce and place in a small glass jar.

Intermediary mix of Dried Basil and Vodka

The next step is to add the intermediary. For this we will use vodka. The alcohol helps draw out the natural oils from the basil. Start out with about 1/2 an ounce. Mix into the basil with a fork.

Mixture of Dried Basil and Vodka

You want an even damp mixture, not wet. If mixture is still dry add more vodka until the herbs feels evenly damp.

Ground Dried Basil and Alcohol Mix

Cover the jar with a coffee filter or cloth and set aside in a shady area for 24 – 48 hours.

Blending Alcohol dampened Basil with Oil

Place basil and vodka mixture into a food processor. Cover with olive oil. This will likely take 6-8 ounces of oil. Blend non stop for 5 minutes. The blender or food processor will likely start to feel warm. That is what you are looking for here.

1st Straining Of Basil Infused Oil

Strain first through a cheesecloth. Squeeze out as much oil as you can. It’s messy but I grab the cheese cloth in my hand and wring out every drop I can.

Straining Basil Infused Oil

Strain the liquid a second time using a coffee filter.

Infused Basil Oil

Store your infused oil in a glass container. This oil will last anywhere from 6-12 months depending on how cool and dark your pantry is.

Notes: There are many types of basil. Here is a sample of what we grow:

Lettuce leaf basil called Mammoth

The large wrinkled leaf basils such as Mammoth pictured here is a lettuce leaf style. Mild in flavour, it goes well in a salad. It will work in this recipe but the flavour and aroma will be on the light side.

Sweet basil, genovese

Sweet basil varieties such as genovese pictured here are used by many cooks. This is the variety most often carried in grocery stores. This style is what I generally use in this recipe.

Thai Basil

Thai basil, often referred to as licorice basil is also very popular. It has a spicy anise flavour.

Oxygen, light and heat are the culprits to oils going rancid. A glass container with a tight lid keeps the oxygen out. Should you not have a cool dark pantry, this oil can be stored in the fridge. Oils stored in the fridge may go a bit cloudy, but they are still good.

Olive oil stored in dark glass bottles are typically better quality. They may be more expensive, but we have found they tend to keep better than the brands in a clear glass bottle.

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