How Does My Garden Grow: Summer Basil Oil

In life there is a struggle for simplicity.  We rarely achieve it.  There are moments we catch glimpses, or experience short bursts that bring a full appreciation of what life might be like if we knew how to live simply.
If you follow my blog you know, I feel most centered when my hands are in the dirt or my mind and body are in my kitchen.  Nature provides to us free of charge, incredible flavors, colors and textures.  When food is prepared closest to how nature intended it is “simply” the best. 

In north Florida summer stays late.  It stays long past its welcome but there are gifts to be enjoyed as the long days begin to wind down.  This means summer herbs are abundant, and if you are growing basil, it is at its peak.

One of the best ways to reap this gift of nature is to preserve your summer basil with a good olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and a few good grinds of cracked black pepper.  What is created is a intensely fragrant and flavored oil that is a perfect addition to soup, roasted vegetables, vinaigrettes and marinades. It also makes for a perfect gift to share with family and friends.

Photo from driftless organics
Basil Oil Recipe
Makes about 3/4 cup
Recipe from Epicurious

1-1/2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup olive oil

Blanch basil in a medium saucepan of boiling water 10 seconds.  Drain.  Rinse under cold water.  Pat basil dry with paper towels.  Transfer to blender.  Add oil; puree until smooth.  Transfer to small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.
Note: Can be made 3 days ahead.  Cover and chill.  Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before using.


26 thoughts on “How Does My Garden Grow: Summer Basil Oil

  1. This is one good thing about the never ending summer temps, herbs are bountiful. That is truely a great idea, basil oil. Ok, you have inspired me to get the blender out 😀


  2. yum! every time i go outside for some basil, i get a little bit sad that the plants won't be around much longer. this is a great way to preserve that flavor!


  3. I've made this…and yes, it freezes. Love that color…love the flavor. Simple is always best, isn't it? Love reading about your garden. Velva. Don't have one any longer, but sure do remember!


  4. Jealous! We didn't get an herb garden this year because of our puppy \”adopting\” that area as his front yard hang out spot. He pretty much crushed up everything but the tarragon, don't know why he let that one live.


  5. Dear Velva, The summer simply went too fast! I seem to always be running behind trying to catch up and get in the swing of things. The end of summer basil is something I will surely miss. This is a great way to keep it and it makes everything taste so good.xoxo Catherine


  6. I loved how you expressed your feelings and thoughts about your pursuit of simplicity in this post, Velva. You write so beautifully! And I couldn't agree more about finding simplicity in the dirt and in the kitchen! I've never made any flavored oils before and have been wanting to do so for a long time now. Using basil as a starting point sounds perfect to me! Thank you for sharing this and inspiring me Velva!


  7. Beautifully written. I live in the tropics so my basil is still going growing like crazy. I love the idea of making it last longer with your basil oil recipe. Thank you for sharing!


  8. We've been away on vacation, and got back to several basil plants that look like small bushes! So I'm going to be playing with basil this week. 😉 Your post couldn't be more timely — thanks so much!


  9. I had to leave behind my pickle crock that I used to grow basil in. It was the perfect container to grow it in. My basil is looking sickly this year. Yours looks lovely, and we are hug fans of basil in the summer. Joni


  10. I have one basil plant without much left but maybe just enough to try this idea – I just love it – would be so perfect with my fall and winter soups! Great meeting you at BlogHerFood this past weekend in Chicago. Looking forward to staying in touch and enjoying a virtual friendship until we meet again …


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