Basil Oil

Basil oil is excellent with crusty bread or added to chopped tomatoes. Use as a base for salad dressings or to flavor poached chicken or fish, mashed potatoes, or grilled vegetables.

1 1/4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place basil and olive oil in a saucepan and set over medium-low heat. Cover and heat until basil wilts and oil is extremely fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside, covered, for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour. Keep refrigerated until use for up to a week.

Makes 1 1/4 cups.

From “The Chefs of the Times,” The New York Times, 2001.

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