This is another little tip I picked up from the Food & Wine Conversations with Kate Lamont. If anyone reading this is from Perth, I can not highly recommend these events enough. $60 for 6 courses of exquisite food, matched with equally superb wines… then you get a description of each dish as it’s being brought out by Kate herself, and to top it off you get to take home the recipes !
This little trick wasn’t one of the recipes, but did make an appearance as a garnish on the herbed risotto I mentioned earlier.
The concept is simple. You take a large quantity of both extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil.
The more industrious among you may then choose to pulverise your basil in a mortar & pestle, while gradually adding quantities of olive oil.
I however, am a generally lazy cook, and going to the effort of making flavoured olive oil is enough for one day… So i wisely choose to throw a large quantity of fresh basil and olive oil into my blender (kitchen whizz/insert colloquial term here) and completely eviscerate the mixture until its basically turned into sloppy green sludge.
At which point you’re essentially done.
You then take this concoction and put it into a container that can be sealed tightly and store it in the fridge.
The longer you leave the basil leaves in the mixture the more luminous the shade of green of your final product will be, and of course the stronger of the flavour of the basil through the oil.
I left mine in for a day or two, and then poured the mixture out through a strainer to get rid of the pulp, and leave just the oil, at which point it was transferred into an old olive oil bottle i conveniently had lying around.
So there you have it. The whole process of making the oil takes at most a half hour or so. Once its made you can use it as a funky garnish around your plates, or to add a bit of different slant to pasta/potato/salad dishes. The mind boggles at the possibilities.